Menlo College women win a wild, wild basketball contest


An old-fashioned basketball shootout lit up the Haynes-Prim Pavilion on the Menlo College campus Thursday night, with the host Menlo College women getting the better of Olivet Nazarene, 102-88, as part of the Menlo Peninsula Holiday Classic.

The Oaks (9-4) and Tigers (9-5) engaged in a contest that included 26 lead changes and over 150 attempted field goals.

Olivet Nazarene averages a nation-best 105 points and Menlo reached the century mark for the first time in three years.

The Tigers took the early lead with a frenetic pace that included wholesale substitutions, ala the NHL, to keep fresh bodies on the floor.

The Oaks countered with a steady defensive effort that forced 10 first-half turnovers and a shooting touch that was successful .564 of the time.

Menlo trailed by as many as 17 points midway through the second quarter before turning the tides with a 13-0 run over a two-minute span to cut the lead to four points, 43-39, on an Alyssa Gable layup with 4:39 remaining in the first half.

The Oaks tied the game for the first time when Celina Pagan stuck a layup with 1:40 left and their first lead in the final 34 seconds when Emma Briggs and Pagan hit layups on back-to-back possessions.

The third quarter saw a number of swings that included a 10-0 run from the Tigers early to take a 64-53 advantage with 7:26 remaining.

Menlo chipped away and tied the game on a Madison Rocha 3-pointer with 2:28 remaining and then took the lead on an Alexis Delovio layup. An Alyssa Gable layup as time expired gave Menlo an 80-75 lead heading into the fourth frame.

Menlo took a 10-point lead on a Breanna Turner layup with 9:17 remaining and fended off the Tigers’ attack.

Olivet Nazarene regained the lead on a Chelsea Rhodes 3-pointer with 6:18 remaining, though Briggs hit a layup 25 seconds later.

Pagan, Rocha, and Breanna Turner each had 17 points. Aliyah Brantley recorded a double-double on 15 points and 10 boards.

Briggs had 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists, a block, and a steal.

— Menlo Athletics

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