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Osburn scores career-high 24 as La Verne tops Pomona-Pitzer 68-57

LA VERNE, Calif. — Faye Osburn scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the La Verne women's basketball team beat Pomona-Pitzer 68-57 for its first win of the season on Monday night at Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion.

The Leopards (1-12, 1-3 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) finally got over the hump after having Chapman and Occidental on the ropes in their last two games.

"We've been telling the team to trust the process and know that change can happen slowly," La Verne coach Julie Shaw said. "We have seen the progress the last couple of games and to be able to finish the game tonight feels great."

Osburn was 7-of-16 from the field, including 3-of-5 from long range, and sank all seven of her free throws. She pulled down tough rebounds throughout the game to help the Leopards hold off the Sagehens.

Over La Verne's last three games, Osburn is averaging 15 points, 7.7 rebounds and two assists per game.

"We've really been pushing Faye on her leadership on and off the court, pushing her to just get in the gym to get her reps in and take her team to serve as an example," Shaw said of the senior. "She has been really impressive over the last few games."

Alexa Withers posted the first double-double of her career, scoring 10 points and hauling in a career-high 17 rebounds. Brianna Bishop scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Karli Kato finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Leopards had a massive edge on the boards, outrebounding the Sagehens 58-38. La Verne cleaned up nearly half of its misses, grabbing 25 offensive rebounds while giving up just 28 defensive boards to Pomona-Pitzer.

La Verne did its work early as it outscored Pomona-Pitzer 22-11 in the first quarter. Osburn and Bishop combined for 14 points in the frame as the Leopards held the Sagehens to just 5-of-18 shooting from the field.

The Sagehens (0-12, 0-4) didn't go quietly, though. La Verne led by as many as 16 points in the second half but the Sagehens chipped away and got as close to 63-57 on a pair of free throws by Keilani Ikehara with 1:10 to go. The Leopards came up empty on their next possession and the Sagehens got the ball back with 52 seconds left but missed a pair of 3-point attempts and La Verne held on.

Anita Romero led the Sagehens with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Alaina Woo scored 15 and Ikehara finished with 10.

The Leopards are back in action on Saturday at Whittier.