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Pacific Women's Basketball Pull Out Road Win At UCSB, 52-48

Jan 28, 2012

The Tigers closed out the game with a 12-2 run as the Pacific women's basketball team emerged with a 52-48 win at UC Santa Barbara Saturday. Erica McKenzie tallied a game-high 14 points, including the Tigers' final four.

Down 46-40 with 4:57 remaining, the Tigers hit four-of-five field goal attempts and held the Gauchos to five-straight misses.

McKenzie started the run with a three-ball from the corner, and after a stop, junior forward Kendall Rodriguez hit a game-tying three with 2:16 to go.

Pacific forced another miss, and McKenzie fed freshman center Kendall Kenyon, who kissed it off the glass for the go-ahead basket with 1:36 remaining. The Tigers defensive forced a turnover, and McKenzie drove and finished for the four-point lead.

The Tigers held UCSB scoreless for 4:49, until Nicole Nesbit hit a jumper with eight seconds to go to pull within two. But after the inbounds, McKenzie hit two free throws to restore the two-possession lead and give the Tigers their second straight win in Santa Barbara.

Rodriguez finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, while Kenyon turned in an eight-point, five rebound performance.  Freshman guard Kristina Johnson tallied five points, including a clutch three-pointer that tied the game at 38-38.  Sophomore guards Gena Johnson and Sam Pettinger added seven points each.

Pacific (11-9 overall, 4-4 in the Big West) shot 34 percent for the game, and just five-of-21 from three point range, but hit three of the final five attempts, all in the final eight minutes.

UC Santa Barbara (8-11, 3-5 Big West) were led by 10 points from Nesbit. The Gauchos shot 38 percent from the field, and scored 15 points of Pacific's 13 turnovers. UCSB committed just nine turnovers as Pacific had a season-low three steals.

But the Tigers won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding the Gauchos 39-31, and hit 15-of-19 from the free throw line to take the victory.

The game featured 13 ties and seven lead changes, as the game opened with ties at every pair of points along the way until 18-18, when Pettinger knocked down a three-pointer and UCSB answered with a Sweets Underwood lay-up. A three-pointer by McKenzie gave the Tigers their largest lead for the first time, at four, 1:06 before halftime, 26-22. The Tigers took a 26-24 lead into the break.

In the second half, UCSB took a four-point lead, and held the edge until Kristina Johnson's three with 8:08 to go which tied the game. With 6:09 remaining, Gena Johnson cut the gap to two, but UCSB answered with four points to build the 46-40 edge.

Pacific will finish a four-game road stretch of the Big West schedule next Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.

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