Five In Double Figures Lead Pacific Women's Basketball To 76-65 Win over Long Beach State
Five players reached double-figures in scoring as the Pacific women's basketball team led from tip to buzzer in a 76-65 win over Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Sophomore Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) posted her second double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Pacific in both categories.
Sophomore forward Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) and sophomore guard Erica McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) each scored a dozen points while junior center Christina Thompson (Sacramento, Calif.) tallied 11 and senior guard Jennifer Fath (Carrollton, Texas) added 10.
Pacific shot 44 percent for the game (21-of-48), while knocking down eight three pointers. The Tigers also hit 26 of 30 free throw attempts (86.7 percent), which were both season highs. Rodriguez and Rogers were each nine-for-nine from the charity stripe.
"It wasn't a real pretty game," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "Long Beach changes defense virtually every single possession. It was tough to establish a rhythm on offense. But to score 76 points and get the win despite that is a really positive thing. I thought we were good on the boards, we shot the ball well from the free throw line, and from behind the three point line."
The Tigers owned a 42-28 advantage in rebounding to improve to 5-13 overall, 2-3 in the Big West while Long Beach State falls to 3-16 overall, and 1-5 in Big West play.
Every Tiger who suited up recorded at least two points and one rebound. Freshman guard Sam Pettinger (Everett, Wash.) tallied six points, one off her career-best of seven, as the pass-first point guard hit a three-pointer and three free throws.
The Tigers opened with a 4-0 lead as Kendall Rodriguez tallied the first four points of the ballgame. Jennifer Fath knocked down a pair of three-pointers as the Tigers took a 15-11 lead. After three free throws from Sam Pettinger, Christina Thompson's inside move gave the Tigers the lead by double-digits at 28-18 with 6:35 left in the half.
Pacific took a 12-point lead when Jordan Rogers drained a pair of free throws following a technical foul to the Long Beach State bench. The 49ers reeled off five of the next seven points to narrow the margin to nine, but Rogers buried a three-pointer while being fouled and the four-point play resulted in Pacific's largest lead of the first half at 13.
But the 49ers responded with a jumper from Brandi Henton, a pair of free throws by Amanda Sims, and a three-pointer from Lyndsay Heard narrowed the margin to 38-32 at the half.
Pacific was paced by 10 points from Fath in the first half, while Henton led the 49ers with 10. The Tigers owned the glass, out-rebounding Long Beach 25-11, but 14 turnovers negated their 11 offensive boards as the 49ers remained within six at intermission.
The 49ers cut the gap to 38-36 to open the second half, but Rodriguez tallied inside and then Erica McKenzie hit a three-pointer from the top of the key pushed the Tiger advantage back out to nine, at 43-36. But once again, Long Beach answered back, cutting the deficit to 51-47.
Pettinger responded with a three-pointer, but Long Beach kept chipping away, as a free throw from Jazmyne Porter brought 49ers within a pair, 54-52, and after Rodriguez scored five straight points for a seven-point lead, Long Beach cut the gap to three at 59-56 with 5:00 remaining.
But the 49ers would get no closer, as Thompson tallied inside and then off a defensive rebound by Andrea Swanson (Littleton, Colo.), McKenzie connected with the dagger: a three pointer from straight away that didn't even ripple the net as it passed through for a eight-point advantage with 2:45 to go.
Pacific nailed the coffin shut with a 12-for-12 performance at the free throw line from Rogers (6), Rodriguez (4) and Swanson (2) in the final two minutes.
The Tigers will play host to UC Davis next Saturday, January 22, at 4 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center.