Pacific Women's Basketball: Pacific Falls to UC Irvine, 70-54
With the loss, Pacific fell to 3-15 on the year and 1-6 in Big West Conference play, while UC Irvine improved to 7-14 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
Back-to-back lay-ups from senior Emma Head (San Diego, Calif.) gave Pacific an early 4-0 lead in the game's first one-and-a-half minutes, but the Tigers only briefly held on to that lead.
At 17:30 the Anteaters responded with a fast-break lay-up from Kiara Belen that cut the lead in half, 4-2. The Tigers then sent Mikah Maly-Karros to the line at 17:01, where she split a pair of free-throws to bring UC Irvine within one, 4-3. For the first time at 16:46, the Anteaters took the lead after Maly-Karros sank a jumper that gave UC Irvine the 5-4 advantage.
The Anteaters continued to attack the basket and led by as much as nine points, 16-7, after another Maly-Karros lay-up at 10:13. By then the Tigers had enough, and came back to knot the score up 21-21 when sophomore Christina Thompson (Sacramento, Calif.) tallied a lay-up with seven minutes to play in the first half. UC Irvine came back to put on another seven-point lead, until a three-pointer from freshman Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) reeled them back to three points at the end of the half, 34-31.
UC Irvine jumped out to as much as a nine-point lead to start out the second half, 44-35 with 15:02 remaining to play in the contest. Thompson then responded with a lay-up at 14:41 to bring Pacific back within seven, 44-37. However, Maly-Karros led the Anteater charge that compiled a 9-2 run, contributing eight points to give Pacific a 53-39 deficit at the 12-minute mark.
Junior Jennifer Fath (Carrollton, Texas) and freshman Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) gave Pacific a pair of free throws and a three-pointer, respectively, cutting the Anteater lead down to its lowest point from the remainder of the game on, nine points (53-44) at 9:03.
The Anteaters stayed in it though and from 6:50 until the final two minutes of the contest, laid on a 7-0 run to put the game just out of reach, leading 66-48. The Anteaters led by as much as 20 points in the final 34 seconds, before Pacific used a 4-0 run to close out the game. In the final half minute of the contest, sophomore Eliza Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.) and McKenzie added two points each for a final 70-54 decision.
Thompson and Head led the Tigers with 10 points each, but it was Maly-Karros who earned the honor of being the game's leading scorer with the only double-double, 35 points and 17 rebounds. The 35 points is the most a player has amassed in a single contest in the Big West Conference this year.
Pacific next returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 30, for the third-annual Pacific Plays Pink night featuring the Tigers donning pink jerseys. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.