Pacific Women's Basketball Cruises Over Villeurbanne, 77-49
Once again the Tigers never trailed as the Pacific women's basketball team blew out Asvel Villeurbane Saturday, 77-49. Kendall Kenyon tallied 16 points while redshirt freshman guard Hailie Eackles and junior guard Sam Pettinger each chipped in 11.
Pacific started hot in the early going, building a 20-2 lead, and stretching the margin to as many as 24 in the first half. A lack-luster third quarter allowed Villeurbanne to pull within 16, but seconds into the fourth quarter, the Tigers made a four-player substation and caught fire.
Junior forward Shanice Butler, sophomore guards Kristina Johnson, Claire Conricode and Eackles joined senior forward Kendall Rodriguez on the floor and the Tigers got back on track, outscoring their host 22-10 in the final quarter.
"I thought tonight we played a lot better," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We we more like ourselves and played much much better in all facets. The defense was better, the offense was significantly better. It was a total team effort.
"I thought the kids that struggled a little bit yesterday did a good job of bouncing back today. Hailie Eackles had a really nice game, Kristina Johnson had a good game. It was good to see their maturity after struggling yesterday. Just a total team effort, so that's exciting."
The Tigers built their early lead behind Pettinger and Kenyon, as Pettinger penetrated the paint for a jumper and a lay-up and Kenyon tallied two quick buckets inside. The duo combined for the Tigers' first nine points. After a 6-0 run by Villeurbanne, Kristina Johnson knocked down a three-ball from the corner for a 23-8 lead and Pacific would stay out in front comfortably through the first half.
The Tigers racked up 34 first-quarter points, as the inside game opened up the long ball. Senior guard Ashley Wakefield's three-point play provided Pacific with a 20-point margin at 30-10, but a three-pointer by Villeurbanne closed the period. Pacific led 34-15 after the first 10-minute quarter.
The frantic pace of the first quarter wore down Villeurbanne's offense, but the Tigers' scoring slowed as Villeurbanne clogged the passing lanes.
The Tigers out-scored Villeurbanne 14-13 in the second quarter to take a 48-28 lead into halftime. Kenyon led all scorers at intermission with 14 points, while Pettinger added eight and a trio of Tigers -- Hailie Eackles, senior guard Erica McKenzie and senior forward Kendall Rodriguez -- chipped in five apiece.
Pacific's third quarter was flat, as Villeurbanne held the Tigers to seven points. The Tiger defense kept the hosts at bay, however, as a 11-7 quarter only brought Villeurbanne within 16.
Butler and Eackles sparked the run defensively, as each recorded a pair of steals and recorded fast-break lay-ins. Conricode drilled a three-pointer to turn the game back into a blowout. The Tigers' final bucket gave them their largest lead at 30, but Villeurbanne tallied the last basket of the game. Pacific ran out the clock on the 77-49 win to improve to 2-0 in France on their exhibition tour.
"Now tomorrow we play one of the top teams in France. They're at the highest level of play here, so it's going to be a challenge," Roberts added.
The Tigers will play Lyon BBC in Pacific's third game in three days on Sunday, with a 5 p.m. contest.