Pacific Women's Hoops Visits USF Thursday, Santa Clara Saturday
University of the Pacific women's basketball team road stretch continues as the Tigers visit the Bay Area for a Thursday tilt at San Francisco (7 p.m.) and a Saturday contest at Santa Clara (2 p.m.).
Pacific notched its first WCC victory last Thursday with a 75-62 road win at BYU, handing the Cougars just their second loss of the season by hitting 13 three-pointers in route to a 13-point win. On Saturday, Pacific wiped out a 21-point deficit in just 11:06, but came up short in overtime, 75-70 at San Diego. The Toreros remained undefeated and in first place in the WCC and moved into the Top 25 after the win.
The Tigers (6-8 overall, 1-3 WCC) look to string together wins at USF and SCU to get their record in line with their body of work this season. Pacific's strength of schedule is number six in the country as the Tigers have three near-upsets of current Top 25 teams. In addition to the overtime loss to San Diego, Pacific also dropped a 68-66 overtime decision to Cal when the Bears were ranked No. 21 (now No. 19). The Tigers also came up seven points shy against then No. 23, now No. 17 Florida State.
Pacific was tabbed fifth in the West Coast Conference, and sits fifth in the WCC by RPI. After opening WCC play with four of the top six in the preseason poll, the Tigers take on a pair of teams they are more familiar with, having played USF and Santa Clara last season.
The Tigers have won two of the three meetings against San Francisco since the series resumed following an 11-year hiatus after 1998. Last season, the Tigers posted a 75-59 win over the Dons at the Spanos Center as Kendall Kenyon scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. In the last visit to War Memorial Gym, the Tigers turned in a 76-54 victory in 2010.
San Francisco enters Thursday's action at 7-7 overall, 2-1 in WCC play. The Dons rank sixth in the WCC in scoring offense at 72.8 points per game, and seventh in scoring defense at 73.3 allowed per game. Junior Taj Winston leads USF in scoring at 12.6 points per contest while Taylor Proctor adds 11.7 per game and is the Dons' leading rebounder at 8.1 per contest.
Pacific also recorded a home victory last season against Santa Clara, 72-45, as Kenyon scored 14 points while Claire Conricode added six points and three steals. The Broncos have won the last two games over Pacific in the Leavey Center, dating back to Pacific's 59-54 win in 2002.
The Broncos rank seventh in the WCC in scoring offense at 71.4 points per game and eighth in scoring defense at 73.5 points allowed per contest. Pacific sits fourth in scoring offense (73.6) and fifth in scoring defense (70.6). Santa Clara is led by Nici Gilday who averages 16.0 points per game while Ruta Zurauskyte adds 10.7 per game. Marie Bertholdt paces Santa Clara on the boards with 6.2 per contest.
Following the road swing, Pacific returns to the Alex G. Spanos Center for home games against Loyola Marymount (7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16) and Pepperdine (2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18)