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February 18, 2012

Gipson Has Dominant Senior Day To Lead Sagehens To Season-Ending Win

Claremont, Calif. - Senior forward Asha Gipson (San Diego, Calif.) had all 16 of her points in the second half, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball team to a 73-67 win over Whittier on Saturday.

Pomona-Pitzer closes out its season with a 5-20 record (3-13 in the SCIAC), while Whittier ends at 7-18 (4-12 in the SCIAC).

Gipson was 3-5 from the floor and 10-12 from the line on the way to her 16 points, all of which came in the second half. Junior guard Alexis Sones (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 16 points, and sophomore guard Emi Hashizume (San Mateo, Calif.) chipped in with 15 off the bench.

Pomona-Pitzer trailed 33-28 at the break, and Gipson had yet to score, but she got to the foul line on the first possession and made one of two to start her second-half scoring barrage. One play later, she scored inside off a feed from freshman guard Caroline Zaia (Napa, Calif.) to cut the lead to 33-31, and Sones followed with a three-pointer to give the Sagehens a lead.

Another three-pointer from freshman forward Maria Weyhrauch stretched the lead to 37-33 and Gipson made two foul shots to cap off the 11-0 run to start the second half and put Pomona-Pitzer ahead to stay at 39-33.

The Poets did put up a battle, though, as Brittany Aranda made a foul shots to close within 44-42 with 11:29 left. A three-pointer from freshman guard Ruthie Shapiro (Moraga, Calif.) with 9:41 to go stretch Pomona-Pitzer's lead back up to six (49-43), and an old-fashioned three-point play and two foul shots from Gipson made it 54-43 with 7:16 left, capping off an 8-0 run.

A Hashizume three-pointer gave the Sagehens their largest lead at 59-46 with 5:43 left, but Whittier came all the way back to 65-60 on an Aranda three-pointer with 1:22 to go. Gipson, though, was 4-4 from the foul line down the stretch to help keep Whittier at bay as the Sagehens held on for the season-ending victory.

Pomona-Pitzer shot 47.7 percent for the game (21-44) and held Whittier to only 33.8 percent (23-68).   The Sagehen defense was particularly tough on the perimeter, as the Poets made only six of their 28 three-point attempts (21.4 percent). Zaia was 3-3 from the floor for six points, and added four rebounds, four assists and one turnover in 34 minutes.

Gipson is the only senior that the Sagehens lose this season, giving the program a bright outlook for the near future, although her rebounding (9.0 rpg) will be tough to replace next year.