Women's Basketball: Pacific Rolls in Exhibition Opener, 105-66, over Simpson
Seven players scored in double-figures as the Pacific women's basketball team cruised to a 105-66 win over Simpson University in its exhibition opener Monday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Freshman Taryn Garza paced the Tigers with 16 points in her Pacific debut while sophomore Jordan Rogers added 14 points to go with seven rebounds. Every player in uniform scored for the Tigers, including Christina Thompson's double-double effort with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) tallied a dozen points to go with eight boards, while freshmen Danielle Peacon (Sparks, Nev.) also added 12 points with seven rebounds. Fellow freshman Sam Pettinger (Everett, Wash.) connected on five-of-seven from the field for 14 points.
Senior Jennifer Fath (Carrollton, Texas) added 11 points with a pair of steals and Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) handed out a game-high eight assists.
"This is what I thought this game could be. I'm pleased with our energy. It was a good chance to work the kinks out in a game against somebody besides yourself. All in all it was a good exhibition for us," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We shot the ball well and we passed the ball well. With 27 assists, we got up and down the floor well. We were much bigger than they were, so we were able to capitalize on that and get our post-play going."
"Our freshmen are talented and I think we were able to see that tonight. Sam Pettinger I thought was really good tonight. She pushed the ball and made nice passes, got her teammates involved and knocked down shots when she needed to. Danielle is going to be a great player. She got into foul trouble early, but she is going to be hard to handle. And Taryn Garza plays so dang hard and is so athletic that she can make plays just by going hard."
Garza, a freshman forward out of Modesto Christian in Modesto, Calif., connected on seven-of-10 from the field, and added a steal, a block and an assist in 17 minutes of action.
In addition to her 14 points, Pettinger handed out five assists and while grabbing six rebounds and six steals and Peacon blocked three shots and added three assists.
Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) also picked up seven rebounds and handed out three assists on the night. Thompson (Sacramento, Calif.) scored 11 of her points and picked up nine of her rebounds in the second half.
The Tigers led from start to finish, shooting 47.4 percent from the field (37-of-78)for the game and connecting on 12 three pointers. The Pacific defense held Simpson to a 35 percent shooting night (20-of-57), and forced 24 Red Hawks turnovers. Pacific scored 33 points off those miscues and owned a 33-7 advantage in points of turnovers.
Pacific's largest edge was in the paint, as the Tigers out-rebounded Simpson 59-31, while grabbing 25 offensive boards, and scoring 44 points in the paint compared to just 22 for Simpson.
Fath drained a three from the corner as the Tigers jumped out to a 9-5 lead four minutes in. The Tigers connected on five of their first 10 three point attempts, stretching the margin to 21-8 with 11:20 remaining in the first half. Pacific held Simpson to just one field goal in the Red Hawks' first 11 attempts.
Garza drove the lane and picked up the hoop and some hard, and then added a lay-up to make the margin 21 at 32-11 margin with 8:48 to go in the first half. Simpson answered back with a three-pointer by Kayla Rackley, cutting the Pacific lead to 16 at 40-24, but after a Garza jumper at the 2:45 mark, the Tigers out-distance the Red Hawks by a 20+ point margin the rest of the way.
The Tigers shot 46 percent from the field in the first half, including 40 percent from behind the three-point arc. Pacific out-rebounded the Red Hawks 29-15 and boasted a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint.
Six of McKenzie's eight assists came in the first half, as the Tigers took a 52-29 lead into halftime.
The second half was more of the same, as Peacon stepped out to knock down a triple from the top of the key, and from there the Tigers shot 48.8 percent in the second half.
The Tigers up-tempo style, combined with the constant play stoppages as the teams racked up a combined 48 fouls gave the Tigers ample opportunity to hit the century mark.
Simpson was led by senior guard Kylie Shaw, who registered 12 points, while Charissa Murakami added nine points and Rackley and forward Bekah Wofford each chipped in eight for the NAIA school out of Redding, Calif.
The Tigers are back in action on Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. against Cal State East Bay in their final exhibition tune-up. Pacific opens the regular season on Nov. 12 at home against Sacramento State at 7 p.m.