Pacific Women's Basketball Visits Irvine, Riverside In First BWC Road Trip
The Pacific women's basketball team hits the road for the first time in Big West play this season, with a Thursday trip to UC Irvine and a Saturday contest at UC Riverside. The Tigers will go for their fourth-straight win at 7 p.m. Thursday against the Anteaters.
Pacific (7-5) has won three in a row, on a three-game homestand around the holiday break. The Tigers opened Big West play in the finale of the homestand with a 72-67 win over Cal State Fullerton. The Tigers scored the last six points of the contest to start BWC play 1-0.
"The Fullerton win was a really good win," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "I don't think we played as well as we know we could have, but to still get the win was great. That's what good teams do, and we're trying to be a good team. We just made plays in the last couple."
Sophomore guard Gena Johnson gave the Tigers the lead for good with a driving lay-up while being fouled, the ensuing free throw gave Pacific a 69-67 lead. After junior forward Kendall Rodriguez posted a block on the defensive end, junior guard Ashley Wakefield slashed to the basket for two points and a two-possession advantage. The Tigers added a free throw for the final margin.
Johnson has hit double-figure scoring in each of the last four games, averaging 12.8 per contest to go with 4.0 assists per game and 5.3 rebounds. The Tigers are 4-1 when Johnson scores in double-digits.
Freshman point guard Kristina Johnson added a career-high 10 points in the win over Fullerton.
"Now we get into the rhythm of conference play. (The Big West) is going to be a close race. We know both of these games are going to be very tough," Roberts continued.
Pacific will open its road trip against an Anteaters team that sits at 4-10 overall and 0-2 in the Big West, dropping road contests at CS Northridge and Long Beach State. On Saturday, the Tigers face a 2-11 Riverside squad that also opened Big West play with losses on the road at Northridge and Long Beach State. Tip-off against the Highlanders is at 5 p.m.
"Irvine is a team that plays incredibly hard. We have to match their effort before we can even think about winning. Our focus now is making sure our players understand we have momentum, but were not where we want to be yet."