Pacific Thumps Long Beach, 93-56, For Sixth-Straight Home Win
After falling behind 5-0, the Pacific women's basketball team out-scored Long Beach State 50-15 over the next 18 minutes and cruised to the team's sixth-straight at home, 93-56, over the 49ers. Freshman center Kendall Kenyon scored a career-high 18 while junior guard Ashley Wakefield led the Tigers with 21 points.
Junior guard Erica McKenzie and junior forward Ashley Smith each finished with 12 points and every Tiger in uniform scored as the Tigers improved to 9-6 overall, 3-1 in the Big West. Junior forward Kendall Rodriguezadded nine points and five boards, while freshman guard Kristina Johnson added seven points and six assists. Freshman guard Claire Conricode and junior guard Kelli Lewis each added three-pointers late off the bench, Lewis' first Division I field goal.
Wakefield connected on eight-of-12 from the field for her second 20+ point game of the season.
The Tigers defense dominated early, as Pacific forced a season-high 30 turnovers, picking up 18 steals and scoring a season-best 32 points off turnovers.
Long Beach opened to a 5-0 lead, but Pacific answered right back with 14 straight points, starting with a three-point play from Rodriguez and a triple from the corner by McKenzie to take a 6-5 lead. The Tigers missed their first two shots, but then connected on seven of the next 10 and forced four turnovers and Wakefield drained a three to cap a 20-2 run.
Kenyon added two inside buckets and six free throws as the Tigers stretched the margin to 21, 37-16 with 7:19 to go in the half.
The Tigers led by as many as 30, 50-20, before Long Beach State scored the last four of the half. It was the second-highest scoring half of the season, as Pacific tallied 51 in the first half against Cal State Bakersfield.
Pacific shot 47 percent in the first half and recorded 10 steals leading to 24 points off turnovers.
Long Beach State opened the second half with an 8-3 run to cut the Pacific lead to 19, but the Tigers answered with a 16-7 run, and the 49ers never were within 20 again. The Tigers emptied the bench and Lewis' three-pointer with 1:43 left gave the Tigers' their largest lead, 40 (one off the Tigers' largest lead of the season), at 91-53.
Pacific shot 48.5 percent in the second half, for a 47.8 percentage (33-of-69) for the game and handed out 26 assists on the Tigers' 33 field goals. Long Beach State shot 52 percent in the second half, but Pacific forced 14 second-half turnovers.
Four Tigers tied for the team-lead in rebounds with five (Rodriguez, Kenyon, McKenzie, Kristina Johnson) as Pacific held a 38-27 advantage in rebounding.
The 37-point victory was the largest by the Tigers in the history of the series with Long Beach, and tied for the sixth-largest conference victory in program history. The 93 points were the third-most Pacific has scored this season, and the Tigers 50-point first half was one off the season high of 51 set against CSU Bakersfield.
The win slides Pacific up to a tie for second in the early Big West standings, a half-game back of 3-0 Cal Poly.Long Beach State falls to 7-10 overall, 2-2 in the Big West. Tipesa Moore was the lone 49er in double-figures with a team-high 12 points. Hallie Meneses assisted eight of LBSU's 21 field goals.The Tigers will welcome Cal State Northridge, also 2-1 Big West play and 8-8 overall, to the Spanos Center on Saturday in a 4 p.m. tip-off.