Women's Basketball Advances With WNIT Win Over UALR
Gena Johnson scored 19 of her 22 points in the second half as the Pacific women's basketball team downed UALR, 69-65, Friday night to advance to the Second Round of the WNIT for the second-straight year.
The Tigers will face Washington on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Seattle.
Kendall Kenyon added a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Erica McKenzie scored 10 points to go with five steals. Ashley Wakefield chipped in five points and four assists as 10 Tigers scored in the contest.
The Tigers (26-7) shot 52 percent in the second half, connecting on 15 of 29 from the field.
Pacific opened the game with a 10-0 run and held UALR scoreless for the first 5:25 of the game. But the Trojans answered back, outscoring the Tigers 24-14 over the next 10 minutes to tie the game on a jumper by Kiera Clark.
After the Trojans took the lead, McKenzie's jumper in the paint put Pacific back on top 4:22 before halftime, but UALR posted a pair of lay-ups from Shanity James to take a 31-28 lead into halftime.
UALR shot 43 percent in the first half, while the Tigers connected at a 37 percent clip.
Johnson took over in the second half, converting on six-of-seven from the field. Her three-pointer gave Pacific the lead at 37-36 with 16:03 to go, and after James and Kenyon traded lay-ups inside, Johnson connected again from deep for a 42-38 lead.
UALR's Taylor Gault hit a three, but Johnson came back with an and-one lay-up for a 47-43 advantage with 12:10 to go.
The Trojans scored six-straight points for a a 49-47 lead, but Kristina Johnson drove and finished while being fouled, giving Pacific the lead back at 50-49 and Gena Johnson and Brianna Johnson added lay-ups for a five-point Pacific lead.
After UALR whittled the Pacific lead to one, Gena Johnson hit a pair of free throws, and Sam Pettinger added a lay-in. James answered with a bucket inside, but Hailie Eackles' three age the Tigers breathing room at 61-55 with 4:10 to play.
James tallied again, but Johnson had an answer and McKenzie's steal and lay-up gave Pacific a seven-point edge with 2:17 remaining. Gault hit a three-point for UALR, but Kenyon tallied inside and she and Johnson each added free throws for a six-point lead with six seconds left.
The Trojans got the the free throw line for four shots in the final six seconds, but the Tigers held on to advance in the WNIT for the second straight year.
Johnson also blocked a shot in the contest, giving her 100 for her career and moving her into a tie for second on Pacific's all-time blocked shots list.
James finished with 19 points for UALR, while Gault and Taylor Ford each added 15. The Trojans, who won the Sun Belt West Division, finish the season at 24-9 overall.
Pacific will travel to Washington to face the 21-11 Huskies. UW escaped with a double-overtime win over Eastern Washington Friday.