By RON SMITH
WESTMONT SPORTS WRITER
On the surface, Tuesday’s game between the Westmont women’s basketball team (3-0), and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps appeared to be nothing more than a lopsided 74-33 victory for the Warriors.
However, looking at the game from the perspective of program history reveals a more telling tale.
Westmont, the top-ranked team in the NAIA, had five players score in double figures. Iyree Jarrett led the way both on the box score (16 points) and in the first quarter of play. The senior guard tallied 12 points in the first 10 minutes including draining back-to-back threes that gave Westmont a 15-4 advantage, a little over six minutes into the game.
“The way Iyree started the game set the tone for our whole team,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Before the game, we talked a lot about how setting the tone early was a key for this game. Iyree came out with a level of focus and ability to hit those shots.”
Three different Warriors added 12 points each to Westmont’s tally — Stefanie Berberabe, who went six of seven from the field; Laila Saenz, who was five of nine, and Aleena Cook who was five of eight. Sydney Brown posted a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Westmont, which never trailed in the game, led 25-9 at the end of the first quarter, 37-12 at halftime, 57-22 three-quarters through and by 41 at the end of the game.
“Our defense in the first half was really good,” said Moore, “and it was still good in the second half. When we want to set a tone, it is my belief that it happens on the defensive end of the floor. That led to an easier offense and took the pressure off.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards. Still, giving up 11 offensive boards means we need to get better.”
The Warriors outrebounded the Athenas 42-27.
As for the historical perspective, it starts with recognizing that this was the first home game with fans that the Warriors have played since March 7, 2020 when they beat The Master’s 76-67 in the GSAC Tournament championship game.
“There was a lot of excitement to be able to play in front of family, friends and students on our home court,” said Moore. “It has been a long time. Hopefully, it was fun for the fans to see how incredible this group of young women are. What they can do on the floor is remarkable.
“It is fun to watch, fun to coach and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to do that. I am grateful for any time we get to step on a court and play basketball — especially here at home.”
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.