Kenyon Powers Pacific Past Northridge, 60-51
The Pacific women's basketball team wore down Cal State Northridge, 60-51, on a historic day at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Erica McKenzie joined Pacific's 1000 point club and Kendall Kenyon set career-highs in rebounds and blocked shots, finishing two blocks shy of the Tigers first-ever triple-double.
Kenyon grabbed 22 rebounds to go with 19 points and eight blocked shots. She became the first Tiger to grab 20 or more rebounds in a game in the last 22 seasons (Natasha Norris, 20 vs San Jose State on Feb. 23, 1991), and the first to grab 22 since Janet Otto in the 1984-85 season. Her eight blocked shots set a modern-era record, while the Tigers 13 blocks as a team set the program's modern record.
Leading by a point with 7:44 to go, the Tigers reeled off a 13-2 run to take control of the game and remain unbeaten at home this season at 9-0.
The Tigers improve to 14-3 on the season, 4-1 in the Big West. Cal State Northridge falls to 10-7 overall and 4-2 in BWC play. The Matadors were led by 13 points from Marta Masoni while Camille Mahlknecht added nine points and 12 rebounds.
Kendall Rodriguez finished with 15 points while McKenzie and Gena Johnson each added eight. Ashley Wakefield tied her season high with four assists.
McKenzie opened the game with her 215th career three, giving her 1000 points in her career for a 3-0 lead. Pacific held Northridge scoreless for their first eight shots, blocking three Matador attempts. Gena Johnson's three with this shot clock winding down gave the Tigers a 7-2 lead.
But the Matadors answered back with eight-straight points, taking a 10-7 lead on a three-pointer from Marta Masoni.
Johnson ended an 11-0 Northridge run with a another three-pointer. Both defenses clamped down, with the Matadors building a 20-14 lead with 12 points of Pacific turnovers.
Pacific closed the half with a 9-0 run over the last 3:14 of the first half. Rodriguez and Kenyon hit lay-ups as the Tigers knotted the game 20-20, and then free throws by Kenyon and Rodriguez gave the Tigers a 23-20 lead at intermission.
Pacific shot just 19 percent in the first half, but held the Matadors to 23 percent shooting. The two teams combined for 11 first-half blocked shots, as Kenyon and Mahlknecht each posted three.
Rodriguez and Masoni traded three-pointers to open the second half, and McKenzie added a three-pointer from the wing for a six-point Pacific lead. The Tigers tallied three-straight lay-ups to take their largest lead at 35-25, but the Matadors responded with an Alama three-pointer and a pair of free throws.
Rodriguez added a pair of three-pointers as Pacific led 41-36 with 10:06 to go. After the Matadors climbed to within 43-42 on a pair of free throws from Ashley Guay.
The Tigers tallied six-straight points as Kenyon finished inside twice and Sam Pettinger posted a transition lay-up, prompting a Northridge timeout.
Kenyon added another basket inside and Pettinger nailed a three-pointer and then rejected a shot on the defensive end. Kenyon added a pair of free throws and another basket inside to give the Tigers a 12-point lead with 1:37 left on the clock.
Mahlknecht hit a jumper, but McKenzie added a pair of free throws as the Tigers ran out the clock to move into a first place in the Big West Conference.
Kenyon finished the afternoon six rebounds shy of the Pacific record (28, by Karen Peets against Cal State Hayward, Dec. 9, 1977). The Tigers have never had a triple-double in program history.Pacific will hit the road for a pair of Big West games at UC Riverside (Thursday, 4 p.m.) and at Cal State Fullerton (Saturday, 3 p.m.).