Pacific Women's Basketball Rides Big First Half To Win Over Hawai'i
A 20-2 first half run propelled Pacific past Hawai'i as the Tigers remained unbeaten at home with a 71-61 win Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
Kendall Rodriguez scored 18 points on five three-pointers while Kendall Kenyon and Erica McKenzie each added 12 points. Sam Pettinger handed out a career-high seven assists.
The Tigers forced 27 turnovers and held Hawai'i to under 30 percent shooting in the second half to improve to 13-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big West. Hawai'i falls to 3-2 in the Big West and 7-9 overall.
Rodriguez connected on five-of-eight from three-point range while McKenzie added a four-of-nine performance from behind the arc. The Tigers struck for 10 three-pointers on 23 attempts (43.5 percent).
Kamilah Martin and Shawna-Lei Kuehe led the Rainbow Wahine with 18 points each.
Hawai'i hit four of their five shots to take a 10-7 lead, but the Tigers unloaded with a 20-2 run. Pacific forced 10 Hawai'i turnovers on their first 18 possessions.
Rodriguez and McKenzie each drained a pair of threes as Pacific surged out in front 18-10. In her first action in five games, Claire Conricode added a three-pointer, while Rodriguez and Kenyon tallied lay-ups in the paint for a 27-12 Pacific advantage with 10:01 to go in the first.
Hawai'i pulled within seven by hitting six-straight free throws and a jumper from Kuehu, but the Tigers responded with a 10-2 run to take their largest lead at 38-22 with 4:36 left before halftime. But the Kuehu hit a pair of lay-ups as the Rainbow Wahine pulled within 40-32 at the half.
The Tigers shot 43 percent in the first half, 16-of-37, but Hawai'i shot 62.5 percent in the first half, hitting on 10 of just 16 attempts. The Wahine also converted 11-of-13 free throws to remain in the game despite 21 first-half turnovers.
In the second half, the Rainbow Wahine inched closer to 42-37, but McKenzie rattled home a three and Wakefield added a lay-up in the paint. Rodriguez hit another three as the Tigers restored a 12-point lead, 53-41.
Hawai'i made another surge, but Shanice Butler tallied inside twice as Pacific maintained a 10-point advantage. The Rainbow Wahine answered back with three-straight buckets from Kuehe.
Kenyon finished inside to give Pacific a 60-52 edge with 3:10 to go, and McKenzie added a three-pointer with 1:42 remaining for an 11-point lead.
DeAngelis hit a three to trim the Hawai'i deficit to six. After Kristina Johnson converted both ends of a one-and-one, Kuehe scored inside and Johnson knocked down another pair from the line. The Tigers got the stop on defense and Pettinger connected on both her free throws to seal the game.
Pacific has won nine straight home games dating back to last season and are 8-0 at the Spanos Center this year.
The Tigers will face Cal State Northridge (3-1 Big West, 10-6 overall) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in a match-up of the preseason Big West favorites.