By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Two Palisadian-Post Cup winners went head-to-head for the second time in their college careers Saturday afternoon in Malibu and once again it came down to the wire.
Jayla Ruffus-Milner made a layup with six seconds left to lift the Pepperdine women’s basketball team its first West Coast Conference victory of the season, defeating PCH Cup rival Loyola Marymount 51-49. Malia Bambrick led the host Waves with a game-high 17 points.
Pepperdine freshman Jane Nwaba, the 2019-20 Post Cup winner, played just under seven minutes off the bench, grabbing two rebounds. She had started the teams’ first meeting in January when the host Lions prevailed 53-50.
LMU senior Chelsey Gipson, the 2016-17 Post Cup winner, was on the floor for all but four of the minutes, scoring eight points and dishing out four assists. She made two three-pointers, dove for loose balls, fought through screens and even took a charge to help her team erase an early nine-point deficit.
Nwaba and Gipson played one season together at Palisades High. Nwaba was a freshman and Gipson was a senior in 2016-17 when the Dolphins reached their third straight City Section Open Division final but lost in overtime to Fairfax. Each led Palisades to two City titles—Gipson powering Palisades to Open Division crowns in 2015 and 2016 and Nwaba pacing the Dolphins to the Division I title in 2019 and the Open Division title in 2020. Each was named City Player of the Year as a senior. They met outside Firestone Fieldhouse after Saturday’s game.
“The biggest difference I notice is the speed of the game,” Nwaba said. “It’s always great to see Chelsey. She’s a great competitor and it’s fun getting to play against her. I’m glad my team pulled this one out.”
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