Pacific Women's Basketball Team Faces Washington 2 p.m. Sunday In WNIT Second Round
|The Pacific women's basketball team faces Washington in the Second Round of the WNIT at 2 p.m. Sunday in Seattle. The Tigers (26-7) advanced to the second round with a 69-65 home win over UALR on Friday at the Spanos Center.
Gena Johnson scored 19 of her 22 points in the second half as the Tigers erased a five-point deficit. Kendall Kenyon added 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Ashley Wakefield handed our four assists and Erica McKenzie tallied 10 points and five steals. Pacific forced 25 turnovers and out-scored the Trojans 40-28 in the paint.
The Tigers shot 52 percent in the second half (15-of-29) against UALR, outscoring the Trojans 41-34 in the final 20 minutes to advance to the second round for the second consecutive season.
It is the first time in program history Pacific has back-to-back post-season berths. The Tigers advanced to the second round of the WNIT last year, notching the program's first post-season win by dominating Arizona State, 77-62, at home. The Tigers fell at San Diego in the second round. Pacific earned its spot in this year's edition of the tournament by virtue of winning the Big West's regular-season championship outright.
With her 22 points in Friday's contest, Johnson sits at 985 for her career can become the 19th Tiger to reach 1,000 career points, and the third Pacific player this season to hit that mark with 15 more points.
Pacific is 1-3 all-time against Washington, with the last meeting coming in December of 1996. Pacific has lost the only two meetings with the Huskies in Seattle, and own a win at the Spanos Center. The fourth meeting came in Berekely in 1978.
The Tigers are 3-3 all-time in the city of Seattle, including 2-3 in Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Tigers posted neutral site wins at the Huskies home court in 1996 (Princeton) and 2002 (St. Bonaventure). The Tigers also won at Seattle to open the season on Nov. 9, 2013.
GOING OUT ON A HIGH NOTE: The Tigers won the program's first-ever Big West regular season title in the final year in the conference. Pacific will join the West Coast Conference next season.
SETTING THE STANDARD: Pacific added to the program record for wins in a season with their 26th in the WNIT First Round. The Tigers won 20 games in 1980-81 (20-7) and 1994-95 (20-15). This year's squad will also set the program record for win percentage -- as Pacific can finish no worse than 26-8 overall, .765 -- topping the .741 mark of the 1980-81 team. The 2012-13 Tigers set new program marks for home wins (14) and road wins (11) in a season as well.
IT'S RAINING THREES: The Tigers set a school record for three-pointers made in a season, hitting 214 made treys on the season.
E FOR THREE, AGAIN: Erica McKenzie hit five threes against Fullerton in the Big West semis, including the game-winning triple with five seconds left. McKenzie broke her own Pacific record for three-pointers made in a season, with 85 and counting. Last season, she hit 75.
She ranks second in both Big West & Pacific history in threes made with 262, nine behind the all-time mark of 271 (Selena Ho). McKenzie also tied the Tigers' single-game mark this season (eight vs Northridge on 2/14) and holds the top two single-game percentage records (7-for-8 vs Florida last season, 8-for-10 vs Northridge).
MISS G'S NEIGHBORHOOD: Gena Johnson's block in the second half against UALR gave the 100 blocked shots in her career, second all-time at Pacific. She sits eight back of the Tigers' all-time record. She'd likely be the only 5-9 point guard to be a D-I school's record-holder for blocks.
JOHNSON, MCKENZIE NAMED TO BWC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Gena Johnson and Erica McKenzie collected Big West All-Tournament honors last weekend after propelling the Tigers to the championship game. McKenzie averaged 18 points in Pacific's two games, including 25 points versus Cal State Fullerton. McKenzie shot 44-pecent from the field and 50-percent from three-point range, hitting seven of her 14 three-point attempts. Johnson was the Tigers' high scorer against Cal Poly, going for 14 points, and she averaged 11.5 points in the two games.
WINTER OF 69: Pacific is now 28-4 in the last 32 games when scoring 69 or more points in regulation, including 14-2 this season. The two losses this year were an 82-89 loss at Florida, and the 96-95 triple overtime loss at Cal Poly (tied 75-75 after regulation).
UP NEXT: The winner of Pacific and Washington faces the winner of San Diego and Utah in the third round of the WNIT.