Pacific Women's Hoops (7-0) Grinds Down Spartans, 74-60
Ashley Wakefield and Kendall Kenyon tallied double-doubles, while Gena Johnson and Kendall Rodriguez scored in double-figures as the Pacific women's basketball team wore down San Jose State. The Tigers pulled away in the second half for a 74-60 road win Monday night to improve to 7-0 on the season.
Kenyon grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 10 points, while Wakefield crashed the offensive glass for eight of her 10 rebounds, while scoring 11 points. Johnson finished with 14 points and Rodriguez added with 12 points,
Eleven of the 12 Tigers scored, as Pacific pulled away from the eight-deep Spartans. Opened the second-half with a 12-4 run, to seize control of the game for good. The Tigers have yet to trail this season in the second half. The work ethic on the glass for Pacific sparked the second-half surge. The Tigers out-rebounded San Jose State 34-12 in the second half, and 54-37 for the game.
"I thought we did a great job in the second half," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We out rebounded them by 20 in the second half and we dictated the tone a lot better. They have some great one-on-one players and they were able to get to the free throw line a little more than we wanted. But to come in here and get a win, with everyone playing a lot of minutes, that was just a great team win."
Kendall Rodriguez drained a long-distance three to give Pacific a 7-6 lead, and a pair of drives to the hoop led to free throws by Wakefield. Pacific pressed and forced a pair of turnovers, and Rodriguez hit another three to extend the lead to 17-8.
Sam Pettinger picked up a steal and a fast-break lay-up, but the Spartans' Riana Byrd Byrd coverted an 'and-one' opportunity to bring San Jose State within six, at 24-18, with 7:37 to go in the first half.
Wakefield answered with a floater in the paint, but the Spartans defense held for a pair of possessions and two inside baskets trimmed the margin to four.
Gena Johnson tallied inside, recorded a steal and scored again.
After a three-pointer by McKenzie from the corner, Byrd and Ashley Smith traded buckets as the Tigers took a 37-32 lead into halftime.
Rodriguez led all scorers at intermission with 10 points. The Tigers shot 38 percent in the first half, while San Jose State connected at a 39 percent clip.
Pacific scored the first six points of the second half, as Kendall Kenyon's free throws gave the Tigers a double-digit lead for the first time at 43-32.
Brianna Johnson drilled a three-pointer from the corner and Gena Johnson's fast break lay-up keyed a 7-1 run as the Tigers surge ahead, 52-38.
From there, the Tigers rebounding took over, as Pacific held the Spartans to zero second-chance points in the half, and four for the game.
The Spartans starting five each logged over 30 minutes, with the bench logging 25 total minutes. The Tigers bench outscored SJSU 16-3.
Ta'Rae Cunnigan led the Spartans with 14 points, while Chereese Thomas added 13. Emily Schill and Byrd each posted 12.
The Spartans fall to 3-4 on the year.
The Tigers are back in action on Friday, in Gainesville, Florida for a 4 pm PT tip-off against the Florida Gators of the SEC. Last season, the Tigers downed the Gators 78-73 at the Spanos Center.