La Verne women win in Cancun

Undeterred by the scenic backdrop and tropical climate of Cancun, Mexico, the University of La Verne womens basketball squad kept its focus to deliver an 82-54 triumph over Kings College (PA) on Day 2 of the Caribbean Hoops Showdown at the Moon Palace Resort.

Marissa Raya continued her momentum from a night earlier and sparked the Leopards offensively with a game-high 30 points on the evening. Raya finished 13-of-21 from the field including a 4-of-10 effort from three-point range.

Trenecca Jones collected 10 points along with 14 rebounds to post her third consecutive double-double and fourth overall this season. Ashley Paul tallied 14 points while Lindsey Shiomi distributed a career-high 13 assists.

The Leopards dominated the opening 20 minutes and rode the hot hand of Raya, who torched the Monarchs for 16 first half points to help stake the Leopards to a 39-13 halftime advantage.

La Verne grabbed an early lead of 14-5 in the first four minutes and never looked back. ULV would extend its advantage to 27-9 at the 9:34 mark behind the hot shooting of Raya and Ashley Paul, who totaled 11 points in the opening frame. Moreover, La Verne enjoyed a decisive 25-12 edge on the boards and limited the Monarchs to a shooting percentage of 21.4% in the opening stanza.

After Kings scored the first 6 points of the second half to get within 20 points, the Leopards responded with 10-0 run to build a 49-19 advantage. A Charleen Guerrero jumper with 2:29 remaining gave La Verne its biggest lead of the game (35) at 82-47.

With the win, La Verne joined seventh-ranked Messiah College (PA) as the only teams to go undefeated during the six-team, two-day holiday tournament. It opened the tournament the previous day with a 60-56 win over Carnegie-Mellon, led by Jones and Raya.

ULV returns to action on Dec. 29th to host Transylvania University as part of a Leopard mens and womens doubleheader. Tip-off is 3 p.m.