Both the Men’s and the Women’s Basketball teams of Occidental College saw action over the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend. The Women’s team began play on Friday, November 25th, against Gustavus Adolphus College, in from Minnesota for the holiday weekend to face various Los Angeles area teams. For the visiting team from Gustavus Adolphus, the starting five wereAbby Rothenbuehler, Eli Benz, Molly Geske, Ava Perry, and Colleen Ruane. For Occidental, Makenzie Brandon, Katelyn Rowe, Elizabeth Messick, Marquisha Corley, and Liz Little started the contest. For the first 10 minutes of the first half, Occidental was either tied with or ahead of Gustavus Adolphus, at one point by a 5 point margin. With about 10 minutes left in the first half, Gustavus Adolphus took a 2 point lead, and for the remainder of the half either stayed even or led by as many as 3 points, never once relinquishing the lead to Occidental. The second half was nearly a duplicate of the first, with Occidental in dominating the first 10 minutes and Gustavus Adolphus dominating the remainder of the game. Though Occidental gave a game effort as the game neared its end, it was to no avail, as Gustavus Adolphus emerged the winner, by a score of 53-50.
The next day, Saturday, November 26th, the Occidental Women’s Basketball team met the Women’s Basketball team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The visiting MIT Engineers started Alexxis Isaac, Rachel Hunt, Mari Kordell, Lauren Sascha Burton, and Tamara Pena. For Occidental, Makenzie Brandon, Katelyn Rowe, Elizabeth Messick, Liz Little, and Marquisha Corley started the game. Occidental took a 2-0 lead within the first minute of the game and never really looked back from that moment on. They led by as many as 23 points at one point in the game. MIT staged somewhat of a comeback, but the final score was 54-41.
A couple of hours after the Occidental Women defeated MIT, the Occidental Men’s Basketball team traveled a short distance to the Caltech home basketball court, Braun Athletic Center, to meet the University of Dallas Men’s team. This was their first game in the annual Caltech/Oxy Thanksgiving Classic. For the first 8 minutes of the first half, the momentum went back and forth between the two teams, and the margin of difference was never more than 3 points. However, after about 9 minutes had elapsed, Occidental opened up a lead that eventually reached 9 points. With about 4 minutes remaining in the half, this lead had evaporated, as the score became tied at 30-30, and stayed this way for nearly 2 ½ minutes. At this point, Dallas took a lead and increased it to 35-30 by the end of the period. Occidental staged a comeback in the second half, having tied the score at 40-40, after 3 minutes had elapsed. At this point, Occidental began to pull away, never trailing again for the remainder of the game. The final score of the game was 72-65 in favor of Occidental.
Part 2 of this report will soon follow.