Women's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker in OT at UC Irvine

Women's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker in OT at UC Irvine

Irvine, Calif. –  Pacific rallied from down 65-60 to force overtime, but dropped a road Big West contest at UC Irvine, 77-75, despite 22 points from Kendall Rodriguez and 16 from Gena Johnson.

Johnson recorded four blocked shots and three steals, and Ashley Wakefield added 13 points while Erica McKenzie chipped in 10 points for Pacific, which falls to 7-6 on the year, and 1-1 in the Big West.

The Tigers three-game win streak was snapped as Anete Klintsone tallied a career-high 21 points for UC Irvine.

The game featured 18 ties and 12 lead changes, including the Tigers' rally from down five in regulation and four in overtime. Down 71-66 with 1:00 in regulation, McKenzie drained a three-pointer and after a turnover gave the ball back to Pacific, Rodriguez was fouled with 3.7 seconds remaining. She knocked down two free throws to knot the game at 71-71. Irvine managed to get off a shot before the buzzer, but the game went to extra time as the shot by Kiara Belen was long.

The Anteaters scored the first four points of the extra session, but Wakefield's lay-up with 1:52 to go pulled Pacific within two at 75-73. Johnson recorded a steal and Rodriguez' jumper after a blocked shot tied the game for the 18th time on the night.

But with 54 seconds remaining, UC Irvine tallied the eventual game-winner, as Belen hit a jumper in the paint for the lead. After an empty offensive trip, Johnson blocked another shot, but the ball remained with the Anteaters. Johnson then picked up the steal with six seconds to go, took a dribble and looked up for a breaking Wakefield.
Wakefield, had an uncontested lay-up opportunity in front of her, but the play was blown dead as Belen fouled Johnson to prevent the score.

After missing the first free throw, Johnson missed the second intentionally, but after Christina Thompson fought for the offensive board in the corner, Pacific couldn't get a good look before time ran out.

Rodriguez hit five-of-six three-point attempts for her second 20+ point-game and added 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year. Johnson hit double-figures in scoring for the fifth-straight game.

Pacific shot 38 percent from the field, including two-of-nine in overtime, while the Anteaters turned in a 42 percent shooting night, hitting three-of-seven in overtime.

The Anteaters held a 48-46 edge in rebounding, while the Tigers forced 23 turnovers.

The Tigers are back in action on Saturday, at 5 p.m. at UC Riverside.