Pacific Women's Basketball Grinds Out 70-57 Win Over San Jose State
Sometimes a well-prepared game plan is the difference in a ball game. And others, like Pacific's 70-57 win over San Jose State Friday night, the game plan is crumpled up and thrown away at the opening tip. Each team debuted new defensive looks, but the Tigers solved the Spartans to pull away with a 70-57 win at the Alex G. Spanos Center to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Freshman forward Danielle Peacon (Sparks, Nev.) scored a game-high 22 points while sophomore forward Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) was in double-figures for the second-straight game with 14. Sophomore forward Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) and junior forward Andrea Swanson (Littleton, Colo.) each added seven points.
The Tigers made the extra pass around and over the San Jose State zone all night, handing out 19 assists on their 23 field goals. Junior Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) handed out five assists, while senior guard Jennifer Fath (Carrollton, Texas) doled out four. Rodriguez, Rogers and Swanson each recorded three assists.
"This team is unselfish. They've really bought into making the extra pass and that was on display tonight," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "I thought in the first half, we took too many three-point shots, and not enough two-point shots, but in the second half, we did a much better job of attacking their zone and getting inside."
Pacific scored 26 points in the paint and added another 17 from the free throw line. The Tigers forced 25 turnovers and scored 27 points off those turnovers to send San Jose State to an 0-3 start.
The Tigers connected on a trio of three-pointers over the San Jose State zone in the early going to take an 11-3 lead as Rodriguez, Peacon and Rogers each knocked down a triple.
The Spartans' Monique Coble drained a three of her own as San Jose State whittled the Tigers' lead to 13-8. But back-to-back lay-ups inside from Taryn Garza (Modesto, Calif.) and Rogers gave Pacific a 17-8 margin midway through the half.
With the Spartans taking the air out of the ball and running the shot clock into the waning moments, Britney Bradley hit a three-pointer to narrow the game to four, but Rogers nailed another three pointer and Peacon added a basket inside as the Tigers took a 27-21 lead into the break.
Rogers and Bradley led all scorers with 10 each for their respective sides. Peacon added nine at the break. San Jose State held a 19-14 edge on the glass, but Pacific forced 16 first half turnovers and scored 15 points of Spartan miscues.
Both teams tried to work it inside early in the second half, as Peacon tallied a pair of baskets inside and McKenzie knocked down a three-pointer for a 36-27 Tiger lead with 17:24 to go. Pacific spread out the Spartans' phalanx in the second half, penetrating inside against the zone. A floater from Gena Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif.) and a pair of free throws from Andrea Swanson gave the Tigers a double-digit lead at 43-32.
Swanson found Peacon inside as Pacific worked the high-low for a 50-36 advantage with 10:31 remaining. But Bradley's 17-footer pulled San Jose State back within single-digits at 50-41. However, Rodriguez threaded the needled along the baseline with a pass to Garza, who finished off the glass. McKenzie then made a steal and drained a three-pointer, and Garza's put-back stretched the Tigers' lead to a 59-44 margin with 6:24 to go.
From there, the Tigers ran out the clock and Peacon's lay-in put the finishing touches on the 70-57 win.
San Jose State was led by 14 points each from Bradley and Brittany Johnson. Sayja Sumler posted eight points and nine rebounds, leading all players on the glass. The Spartans held a 40-34 advantage on the glass, but the Tigers topped them in second-chance points, 21-14.
The Tigers will set out on a three-game road trip over the Thanksgiving holiday week. Pacific plays at Southern Utah on Tuesday, Nov. 23 in a 6 p.m. PT tip-off. From there, the Tigers visit Las Vegas for the UNLV Hyatt Place Lady Rebel Round-Up where they will face Rutgers on Friday at 5 p.m. and either Oregon State or host UNLV on Saturday. Saturday's tip time would be either 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.