Pacific Women's Basketball Rolls over UC Riverside
A 29-4 Pacific run turned a tight first-half game against UC Riverside into rout as Pacific pulled away for an 85-56 win Thursday night. Four Tigers scored in double-figures, led by Erica McKenzie and Kendall Rodriguez with 14 each.
Kendall Kenyon posted her eighth double-double of the year with 12-points and 10 rebounds. Gena Johnson added 10 points, while Kristina Johnson tallied a season-high eight and Ashley Wakefield chipped in nine.
Pacific has won eight of the last nine and improves to 15-3 on the season, and 5-1 in the Big West.
After closing the first have with a 15-2 run, the Tigers shot 53 percent in the second half to lead by as many as 32. Pacific scored 40 points in the paint and dominated the glass by out-rebounding the Highlanders 49-31.
Pacific hit nine of 21 three-point attempts, led by McKenzie, who was four-of-six from behind the arc. Claire Conricode added a pair of threes on three attempts to finish with six points.
The Tigers never trailed as Pacific opened to a 7-2 lead on a pair of buckets inside from Kenyon. A four minute scoring drought and a 12-for-14 shooting performance from the free throw line enabled the Highlanders to hang round, tying the game at 21-21 with 5:48 to go in the first half.
From there Pacific exploded, as Wakefield and Rodriguez converted lay-ups and a Rodriguez three restored a three-possession cushion. Ashley Smith scored on a put-back, and Kristina Johnson's long two as the first half would down gave Pacific a 36-23 lead at the half.
In the second, Rodriguez hit a floater and McKenzie drained a three-pointer Pacific scored 14 of the first 16 points in the second half. All told, the 29-4 run lasted 10:10 and turned a 21-21 tie into a 50-25 Pacific lead.
The Tigers emptied the bench in the second half, and a lay-up by Hailie Eackles gave the Tigers their larges lead at 32 before a Riverside three-pointer set the final margin.
Pacific held Tre'Shonti Nottingham, who entered the game leading the Big West with 19.7 points per game, to a mere seven points. Natasha Hadley led the Highlanders with 14 points. Riverside falls to 9-8 overall and 2-4 in Big West play.
The Tigers will take on Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Titan Gym.