Women's Basketball: Pacific Falls to San Diego, 72-61, As Toreros Pull Away From Free Throw Line
The Pacific women's basketball erased one double-digit deficit in the first half, but couldn't repeat the task in the second half, getting no closer than two, but eventually falling to the San Diego Toreros, 72-61, Monday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Freshman forward Danielle Peacon led the Tigers with 18 points, but San Diego received 21 points from guard Dominique Conners, including an 11-for-14 performance at the free throw line.
In a game of runs, the Toreros pulled off the last one to win their season opener and drop the Tigers to 1-1 on the young season.
Sophomore guard Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) chipped in 13 points with five rebounds for Pacific, while freshman forward Taryn Garza (Modesto, Calif.) scored eight points off the bench with four assists and five steals.
Sam Child added 17 points for San Diego, while Morgan Woodrow added 15 for the Toreros. USD converted 26 of 37 free throw attempts as the Toreros out-scored Pacific 26-10 from the free throw line. Conners also added a team-high six assists.
Sophomore forward Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) added five points, six rebounds and four assists, while freshman guard Sam Pettinger (Everett, Wash.) added seven points and a pair of assists.
Garza was a spark-plug off the bench, as the Tigers eliminated an 11-point first half deficit with just over eight minutes to go. The Tigers trailed 27-16 before a Rogers three, and then Garza entered and rattled off six points with four steals and a blocked shot in the final 7:58 of the half. Rogers cut to the hoop for two and after the Toreros halted the 9-0 run, Garza scored her third bucket and Peacon converted a pair of free throws to give Pacific took a 31-30 lead at the half.
The Tigers shot 46 percent in the first half (13-of-28), while holding San Diego to 43 percent (9-of-21). After hitting eight of their first 12, Pacific held San Diego to just one field goal in their final nine attempts in the last eight minutes of the first half.
Out of the break, San Diego tallied a 9-0 run in the first two minutes before Peacon answered inside and then found Rodriguez cutting through the lane, and the sophomore converted to cut the deficit to four. But USD's Sam Child responded with a three of her own as the Tigers trailed 44-38 with 15:50 to go.
San Diego stretched the margin to 10, at 54-44 with 10:14 to go, but the Tigers mounted another comeback. Pettinger hit a jumper, and Garza and Johnson each knocked down a pair of free throws and then Peacon hit a lay-up and a jumper to pull to within two, 56-54 with 6:51 remaining.
But the Tigers would get no closer as Conners and Woodrow tallied back-to-back baskets and the a pair of USD free throws re-established the 10-point margin.
Peacon and Rogers added back-to-back hoops to pull back to within six, 64-58, with 2:47 left, but the Tigers ran out of time as the Toreros closed out the game from the free throw line.
Pacific owned a 32-24 edge in points in the paint, but that advantage was negated by the frequency at which the Toreros went to the free throw line. Adding free throws, the San Diego inside game out-scored Pacific 50-42 on the night.
San Diego held a 38-29 margin on the glass, as forward Emily Hatch hauled in a game-high 11 boards for the Toreros.
Peacon followed up her 33 point debut with 18 points, on 8-of-20 from the floor, and tied Rodriguez for the team lead in rebounding with six.
The Tigers are back in action on Friday, Nov. 19, as they conclude a season-opening three-game home stand against San Jose State. Tip-off at the Alex G. Spanos Center is slated for 7:00 p.m.