Pacific Women’s Basketball Pulls Out Road Win at UC Riverside, 62-59
A 22-8 run early in the second half sparked the Pacific women's basketball team to a 62-59 win over UC Riverside Saturday afternoon at UCR Student Recreation Center. Sophomore forward Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) led four Tigers in double-figures with 13 points.
Freshman forward Danielle Peacon (Sparks, Nev.), freshman guard Gena Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif.) and sophomore guard Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) each added 10 points, while sophomore forward Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) added eight.
The Tigers, 6-15 overall, 3-5 in the Big West, brought the defensive intensity and controlled the boards, owning a 40-28 edge on the glass.
In a game which featured 15 ties and 14 lead changes, Pacific rallied from down 35-30 early in the second half, with a 22-8 run over an 8:40 stretch to take their largest lead at 52-43. But the Highlanders (11-9 overall, 4-3 in the Big West), answered back to take a 59-58 lead with 1:17 left in the ballgame.
However, Pacific would take the lead on a pair of free throws from McKenzie, and after a defensive stop, Johnson gave Pacific a three point lead with 9.4 seconds left and then she forced a turnover on the ensuing possession to seal the win.
UCR's sophomore guard Tre'Shonti Nottingham finished with a game-high
19 points while senior guard Alyssa Morris added 18.
From the onset the two sides played at a frantic pace, as Pacific opened up to a 9-7 lead thanks to back-to-back baskets inside from Peacon and a three-pointer from Rogers. The two teams traded leads back and forth as Peacon knotted the game at 21-21 with an inside bucket, and a pair of free throws from Fath gave Pacific a 25-24 lead.
But Riverside answered right back with a pair of free throws from Nottingham.
Rodriguez knocked down a three-pointer for a 28-26 lead with 3:28 left in the half, but Alyssa Morris' knotted the game with 2:26 left. After a pair of defensive stops, Rhaya Neabors scored inside for a 30-28 UCR lead with 23 seconds left in the half. But Johnson provided the equalizer with four seconds left, hitting a baseline floater to send the game into the half tied at 30-30.
Peacon led the Tigers at intermission with eight points while Rogers, Rodriguez and McKenzie each tallied five. Pacific owned a 25-14 advantage in rebounding at the break, but remained tied due to 14 first-half turnovers.
In the second half, UC Riverside tallied the first five points, but the Tigers answered with a 22-8 run featuring a pair of old-fashion three-point plays from Rogers and Rodriguez for a 40-38 lead with
15:56 to go in the game. McKenzie connected on a triple from deep as Pacific took its largest lead of the game at nine a 52-43. Riverside whittled the lead back down to four, and then forced back-to-back empty possessions by Pacific. A pair of free throws pulled the Highlanders back to within one.
Riverside's Nottingham gave the Highlanders a 59-58 lead with 1:17 to go, but McKenzie was fouled on the sideline and with the Tigers in the bonus for two, the sophomore calmly nailed both from the stripe to give Pacific a 59-58 lead with 1:06 remaining.
Nottingham drove the baseline and got off a runner that rimmed out, with Rodriguez grabbing the rebound with 35 seconds left. Pacific ran the clock down as UCR didn't foul, but then on their trap attempt, Johnson was hacked on the arm, and the freshman guard hit both of her free throws with 9.4 seconds left to put the Tigers in the drivers seat.
Down three, Riverside worked the ball up the sideline in a hurry, but with Johnson hounding Nottingham, UCR's leading scorer lost the handle out of bounds. Pacific got the ball inbounded with four seconds to go and ran out the clock for the Tigers first road win in conference play.
The Tigers return home to face UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, February 3, at 7 p.m. before hosting Cal Poly Saturday at 4 p.m. as Pacific Plays Pink.