Tigers Gear Up For Road Trip At Cal Poly, UCSB
The Pacific women's basketball team continues its four-game road swing with a trip to Cal Poly (Thursday, 7 p.m.) and UC Santa Barbara (Saturday, 2 p.m.).
The Tigers (10-8 overall, 3-3 Big West) look to bounce back from road loss at UC Davis Saturday. The Tigers fell 58-51 in a game that was a two point contest with five seconds to go.
Pacific had won 10 of 14 entering the match-up with the Aggies and fell behind early as Davis hit eight of their first 11 shots. The Tigers defense locked down after that, holding the Aggies to 13-of-44 shooting the rest of the way (29.5 percent), but against the Big West's number one scoring defense, Pacific couldn't climb all the way back.
Kendall Rodriguez scored 16 second-half points, including 13 in the final 8:33 of the game, helping the Tigers pull within 53-51 with 37 seconds to go. After a defensive stop, the Tigers' three-point attempt for the lead rimmed out, and the Aggies hit six of six free throws in the final four seconds for the margin of victory.
"We've got to bounce back, and we're on the road again against two tough teams," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "These are two big positioning games for us."
Pacific is among a log-jam of four teams in the Big West with three conference losses, but can gain separation this weekend, taking on Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, who are each 3-3 in the Big West.
Cal Poly opened Big West play with three wins, but have dropped three straight since. The Mustangs boast the conference's leading scorer, Kristina Santiago, who sits third in the nation with 23.6 points per game.
"She is a force, so we know we have our hands full with her," Roberts said. "You've got to do your best to slow her down."
Pacific has held its opponent leading scorer to below their season average in 13 of 18 games. The group of 18 leading scorers average 14.3 points per game on the year, but have combined to average 11.8 against Pacific.
On Saturday, the Tigers visit UC Santa Barbara, where Pacific knocked off the Gauchos in the Big West quarterfinals last season. The Tigers ended a 24-game home win streak by UCSB in the series, by using a 29-11 run in the final 17:14 to erase a 14-point deficit.
The Tigers will conclude their four-game road stretch on Feb. 4 at Cal State Fullerton before returning to the Alex G. Spanos Center on Feb. 9 to face UC Riverside.