Pacific Women's Basketball Takes On Santa Clara Tuesday
The Pacific women's basketball team continues its' four-game home stand as future WCC foe Santa Clara visits the Alex G. Spanos Center Tuesday. The Tigers (3-0) look to remain unbeaten on the season when the 2-1 Broncos come to Stockton for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The Tigers have received contributions from a variety of players -- seven different Tigers have turned in games scoring in double-figures through three games -- but Pacific has yet to fire on all cylinders.
Head coach Lynne Roberts focused on intensity and eliminating casual mistakes in the practices since Pacific's 72-63 win over Nevada Thursday.
"We don't feel like we're where we need to be," she said. "It's always a good thing to still come away with wins when we're not at our best, but we can't expect to keep winning if we don't improve. Santa Clara is a good team, and they play hard. It's going to be an 'effort-game.' We are going to have to bring high intensity for 40 minutes. That's something, quite honestly, we haven't done a great job with so far. We've had good intensity in bursts, but not from the tip to the buzzer and that's what we're looking for on Tuesday."
Pacific owed much of its' first two wins to its depth, as five Tigers turned in double-figure scoring efforts, but none of those five (Kendall Kenyon, Gena Johnson, Sam Pettinger, Claire Conricode and Shanice Butler) were among the Tigers' top three returning scorers last season.
Seniors Kendall Rodriguez, Erica McKenzie and Ashley Wakefield are Pacific's top three returning scorers and began to get on track against Nevada. McKenzie, who began heating up from behind the three-point arc at Eastern Washington, nailed four three-pointers and led the team with 19 points against Nevada. Rodriguez turned in 12 points and scored 10 in the second half as the Tigers held the Wolf Pack at bay. Wakefield chipped in eight points against Nevada and is averaging 6.7 per game coming off the bench. Pettinger has assumed her spot in the starting lineup for the last 16 games dating back to last season following Wakefield's injury at UC Davis.
Kenyon leads the Tigers in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.3 points per game with 8.7 rebounds. She's hit double-figures in scoring in all three games, while turning in a double-double against Eastern Washington with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers and Broncos resume a rivalry that took last season off. In 2010, Santa Clara took a home contest over the Tigers. The two teams will square off twice a year beginning next year when Pacific joins the West Coast Conference.
Pacific is looking for just their third 4-0 start in program history, and first since the 1986-87 season. The 1986-87 Pacific squad opened 4-0 before a loss in game five. The best start in Tiger history was the 9-0 mark by the 1980-81 Tigers.
Following Tuesday's contest, the Tigers will play host to Fordham on Friday at 7 p.m.