Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific women's basketball team opens their home slate Saturday at 7 p.m. against the St. Mary's Gaels at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Tigers, which opened the season on the road, look to get into the win column against the 1-2 Gaels.
"It's really nice to be back home." head coach Lynne Roberts said. " We've always historically shot better at home. We have some great, loyal fans. So it will be nice to play in the Spanos Center. We're looking forward to it."
Saturday's game will be the 1,000th game in the history of the women's basketball program, which began in 1975-76. The first game in Tigers' history was Dec. 9, 1975 against San Francisco.
Pacific's rare East Coast trip pitted the Tigers against a pair of formidable opponents, as the Tigers warmed up for their game at No. 4 Connecticut with a road game against Fairfield, picked third in the MAAC and returning four starters from a 17-13 team in 2010-11.
The Tigers fell 56-47 at Fairfield, as the Stags attempted twice as many free throws as Pacific, 32-16. Pacific junior forward Kendall Rodriguez posted her fourth career-double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Ashley Wakefield grabbed 11 rebounds and added eight points in her Pacific debut.
Pacific dropped their return game with No. 4 UConn last Tuesday, as the Huskies used full-court pressure to establish an early lead. Pacific tallied 53 points against a UConn team which has held opponents to 48.1 points per game the last season, including NCAA tournament games. The Huskies, who are 117-2 in their last 119 games, turned 26 turnovers into 41 points for the 112-53 win.
Erica McKenzie knocked down five three-pointers, including one while being fouled, to finish with a team-high 16 points.
St. Mary's is off to a 1-2 start with losses to DePaul and Big West foe UC Santa Barbara sandwiched around a win over Montana.
"St. Mary's is a good team. Our games with them are always close, competitive hard fought, games. I expect nothing less [on Saturday]. I have a ton of respect for them, what they do and how hard they play. I know it's going to be a tough, close game, but we're looking forward to it."
Following the contest with St. Mary's, Pacific will hit the road again for a Tuesday game at Cal State Bakersfield.