Pacific Women's Basketball: Pacific Upended At Home By UC Irvine, 69-58
Beginning their final home stand of the 2010-11 season, the Pacific women's basketball team was upended by UC Irvine, 69-58, on Thursday, February 24. The loss dropped the Tigers to 7-20 overall and 4-8 in Big West play while the Anteaters improved to 15-11 overall and 7-7 in the conference.
Despite getting another stellar effort out of freshman Gena Johnson, who scored a team-high 18 points, the Tigers could not over take the Anteaters late in the second half of what was a close game until the final minute.
Throughout the first half, the two teams traded buckets with neither side being able to open up a substantial gap in the contest as both the Tigers and the Highlanders each were only able to take leads as large as four points. Early in the half, Kendall Rodriguez led the Tigers' offensive attack as the sophomore forward scored Pacific's first five points of the game. She would finish the half with eight including hitting a pair of shots from distance.
With neither team being able to open a lead, the half was able to turn on just a few bounces wither way, this time turning in the Anteaters favor for the halftime lead. UC Irvine took advantage of a nine point first half from Taylor Champion, including a banked in, turn-around, 35 footer as the shot clock-expired with just under a minute to play to take a four point lead over the Tigers. A three-pointer, one of five for the Tigers in the half, from the corner by sophomore Jordan Rogers knocked the Anteater lead to just one as time ran off the clock.
Leading by one at the break, the Anteaters were able to turn the small momentum they had in their favor into a nine point advantage just four minutes into the second frame with a 12-4 run. After a push back by the Tigers that cut the lead to four with 11:26 to play, the Anteaters again pushed back, this time increasing their lead to its largest of the game, 12 points, 58-46, with 7:52 to play in the game.
Storming back, the Tigers went to the inside to exploit a mismatch in the paint with a pick-and-roll attack led by junior Christina Thompson and freshman Danielle Peacon. The inside duo for Pacific scored nine points for the Tigers during a 12-4 run that cut the lead back to four with just over 1:30 to play in the game. However, that run by the Tigers would be their last of the game as the Anteaters were able to hold Pacific off the scoreboard for the final minute of the game while pushing their lead to its final resting mark of 11 from the free throw line.
In the contest, the Tigers were outshot by the Anteaters 40.0%-to-37.0% from the floor as both teams knocked down 20 field goals, including seven from distance. The Tigers put three players in double-figures led by Johnson who hit 5-of-8 from the floor while knocking down 7-of-10 from the line. Rogers and Peacon joined Johnson with 12 points a piece.
Led by Champion's game-high 19 points, the Anteaters also put three players in double-figures for the night. Jade Smith-Williams finished the game just one point back of Champion as UC Irvine's floor general scored 18 points, hitting 10-of-10 from the line. Kim Barnes added 11 points to the Anteaters efforts. As a team, UC Irvine was 22-of-27 from the line.
Pacific will close out its home schedule on Saturday, February 26, when the team hosts UC Riverside at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The game is scheduled for 4:00 pm with a senior ceremony prior to the contest to honor the Tigers' four seniors; Jennifer Fath, Andrea Swanson, Arielle White and Claire McLeod.