Rodriguez Hits 1,000 as Pacific Downs USF, 75-59
Kendall Rodriguez became the 17th player in Pacific history to reach 1,000 career points and the Tigers remained unbeaten at home with a 75-59 win over San Francisco Saturday.
Rodriguez led four Tigers in double-figures with 22 points, while Kendall Kenyon turned in a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Gena Johnson added 14 points and five assists, while Erica McKenzie chipped in 11 points and three assists.
Pacific dominated the glass, out-rebounding USF 49-25. The Tigers tallied 25 offensive boards to the Dons' seven. The performance led to a 22-7 edge in second-chance points. The Tigers also forced 25 USF turnovers and turned them into 22 points.
The Tigers improved to 9-2 on the season and remained undefeated at home (5-0) and against WCC schools (3-0). USF falls to 7-6 on the year.
Mel Khlok led USF with 22 points, while Zhane Dykes added 12.
A baseline jumper from Brianna Johnson gave Pacific a 14-11 lead with 12:35 to go in the first. But the Dons reeled off a 10-2 run to take a five-point advantage.
The Tigers answered back with lay-ups from Kristina Johnson and Rodriguez to cut the deficit to one, before Rodriguez hit a free throw and a three-pointer. The three-pointer pushed her career total over the 1,000 mark and gave Pacific a 24-21 lead.
Rodriguez added another three, but the Dons chipped away from the free throw line, hitting four straight from the stripe to pull within 27-26. Rodriguez hit a layup inside and Kendall Kenyon's put-back just before the buzzer gave the Tigers a 31-26 lead at halftime.
The Tigers shot 40 percent in the first half, and held USF to 35 percent shooting. Pacific held a 27-12 advantage in rebounding in the half. But the Dons hung around by hitting 10-of-12 free throws, while Pacific got to the line just three times in the first half. Pacific forced 13 USF turnovers in the first half, but committed 15 themselves.
McKenzie hit a pair of threes early in in the second half as the Tigers used a 6-0 run to stretch their lead to 42-31 with 17:41 to go.
Wakefield and Khlok traded jumpers before McKenzie struck again from behind the arc as the Tigers led 57-47 with 9:47 left.
The Tigers led by 16, after a pair of free throws McKenzie and a lay-up from Gena Johnson. Khlok answered with a pair of three-pointers to bring USF within 10, before Ashley Smith tallied inside off a feed from Gena Johnson. That kickstarted a 10-2 run for the Tigers, as Johnson and Kenyon hit lay-ups to give Pacific 20-point lead at 75-55 before the Dons tallied the final two baskets of the contest.
With nine wins, Pacific ties its best mark for non-conference wins in a season (since joining the Big West in 1985-86), and sets a program record for most wins before New Year.
Rodriguez sits 17th on Pacific's all-time scoring list with 1013 points. Fellow senior Erica McKenzie moved to within 57 points of 1000 for her career, as she sits in 20th on the Tigers' scoring list with 943 career points.
Pacific will close out non-conference play on Monday with a 2 p.m. New Year's Eve matinee against CSU Bakersfield.