Stockton, Calif. - Five players scored in double-figures as the Pacific women's basketball team defeated the Academy of Art 92-62 in its exhibition opener Saturday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Juniors Erica McKenzie and Ashley Smith led the women in scoring with 14 points a piece, while sophomore Gena Johnson added 13 points and two rebounds. Twelve of the thirteen players in uniform scored for the Tigers.
Junior transfer Ashley Wakefield (Inglewood, Calif) racked up 10 points and two steals to go with three rebounds while fellow junior Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) added 11 points and five boards. Senior Christina Thompson connected on four-of-six from the field for nine points and two rebounds.
Pacific shot 45.2 percent from the field, scoring 44 points in the paint and recording 18 steals. The Tigers took advantage of the 32 Urban Knight turnovers, converting the miscues into 30 points for Pacific. The bench came up big for the Tigers as the reserves scored 35 points off the bench.
McKenzie (Sparks, Nev.) and freshman Kristina Johnson (Santa Monica, Calif.) led the team with three steals each and Gena Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif.) handed out a game-high give assists.
The Tigers connected on 31 free throws, on 44 attempts (70.5 percent). Smith (Eugene, Ore.) connected on eight of 10 from the charity stripe.
It took the Tigers a little time to get into the flow offensively against the Urban Knights, as they trailed by as many as 11 points in the opening minutes of the first half. The Academy of Art led 21-10 before Pacific exploded for an 18-7 run to tie the game at 28-all. After knotting the game up with 8:14 remaining in the half, the Tigers did not look back, as they outscored the Urban Knights 20-7 to head into the break with a 48-35 lead.
Pacific dominated the second half, outscoring the Urban Knights 44-27.
Combined, both teams racked up a total of 57 fouls. The Tigers outpaced the Academy of Art in assists (18-7) and steals (18-5), and both teams racked up 38 boards.
The Academy of Art was led by sophomore forward Alisa Griggs and senior guard Lorraine Etchell, who each contributed 16 points. Griggs also collected eight boards and one steal.
The Tigers are back in action on Sunday, November 13, at Fairfield in their regular season opener with a 10:00 AM pacific time tip-off. The Tigers will face No. 4 UConn in Storrs on Nov. 15 before returning to the Spanos Center for their home opener on Nov. 19 against St. Mary's.