Tigers Topped For First Time In France By Top-Flight Lyon
Pacific's unblemished record in France came to an end as Lyon, of France's top professional league, posted a 92-49 win over Pacific Sunday afternoon.
"I've said this program will play anyone, anywhere, and today it caught up with us. Our third game in three days, less than 24 hours after our last game. I'm actually proud of our players (despite the score)," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "That was a very experienced, very talented and very successful professional team. They play at the highest level in France, a country of 55 million people. I thought our kids competed. We got a little tired and it felt like 100 degrees in that gym.
Senior guard Ashley Wakefield scored 11 of the Tigers' 49 points, while sophomore center Kendall Kenyon and senior guard Erica McKenzie each tallied eight. Redshirt freshman guard Hailie Eackles tallied five points, while sophomore guards Claire Conricode and Kristina Johnson and senior forward Ashley Smith each posted four.
The Tigers fell behind 6-0 early, as the taller, longer Lyon squad tallied three buckets on the interior. LBF (Lyon Basket Feminine) stretched its lead to 23-11 before Erica McKenzie hit a pair of three-pointers, one from each corner. The Tigers made a run as Shanice Butler finished inside to cut the margin to 27-19, but Lyon struck back by forcing a pair of turnovers and the deficit for Pacific quickly ballooned to 17 at 37-20. Kendall Rodriguez hit a three-pointer and Kendall Kenyon scored with a kiss off the glass to bring Pacific back to within 14 at 39-25. However, Lyon tallied the final four points of the half from the free throw line.
In the second half, Pacific started more aggressive, driving to the basket and feeding Kenyon for a pair of inside baskets. Wakefield drove to the rack and hit the first of two free throws, then was fouled after grabbing her own offensive rebound on the second free throw and hit the line for two more, draining both. Claire Conricode knocked down a three, but Lyon stretched the lead even further as the hosts posted a 31-13 third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the versatile posts of Lyon take advantage of height mismatches, and the lopsided scoreboard as the whistles were put away and Lyon bullied the Tigers inside.
"This trip is not just about winning and losing," Roberts added. "We want to come back a better team than we left. Playing against a team like that will help us improve. How to dig deep, by physical back when teams are pushing you around. I think we can reference this game in February and March."
Pacific will wrap it's four-game exhibition slate on Wednesday, in Nice against Cavigal Nice. Tip-off is slated for 7 pm in France, 10 am PT.