Pacific Extends Win Streak To Six, 66-56, Over Fresno State

 

Stockton, Calif. - A 12-0 run keyed the Tigers' 66-56 win over Fresno State Wednesday as the Pacific women's basketball team moved to 6-0. Kendall Rodriguez posted her first double-double of the year with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Joining Rodriguez in double-figures for Pacific were fellow seniors Ashley Wakefield and Erica McKenzie, who each tallied 10 points. McKenzie handed out six assists, while Kendall Kenyon scored eight points to go with 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs - which have made the last five NCAA Tournaments - battled back-and-forth with the Tigers in the early going. The first half featured seven ties and nine lead changes before Fresno State scored seven straight points to take 32-25 lead with 3:17 to go in the first half. But the Tigers held Fresno State without a point until halftime, charging back to tie the game at 32-32. Out of intermission, the scoring drought continued and the Tigers tallied five more points before the Bulldogs ended a 6:29 scoring slump.

Once again, Pacific never trailed in the second half, as the run gave the Tigers the lead for good. Pacific locked down defensively, holding the Bulldogs to 29.9 percent shooting for the game (20-of-67). The Tigers, which entered the week 22nd in Division I in field goal percentage defense (at .333) have held four straight opponents to under 31 percent and lowered their season mark to .316. The Tigers held Fresno State to 2-of-17 from behind the three-point line.

The two teams traded four lead changes and were tied three times before either team took a lead of more than three points. A lay-up by Alex Sheedy gave Fresno State a 12-9 lead, but Erica McKenzie drained a three to knot the game up with 11:58 left in the half.

Kendall Rodriguez and Ki-Ki Moore traded three-pointers, and a Claire Conricode three-pointer put Pacific up 20-19. After a pair of transition lay-ups by Fresno State, Conricode struck again from behind the arc, tying the game at 25-25 at the 5:48 mark.

The Bulldogs scored seven straight before Rodriguez scored inside and found Shanice Butler underneath for another. After a stop on defense, Rodriguez hit a three-pointer just before half as the Tigers 7-0 run knotted the game at 32-32 at intermission.

Rodriguez led all scorers with 12 at the half, while Moore led Fresno with 11. The Tigers shot 41 percent in the first (11-of-27), while holding the Bulldogs to 30 percent (9-of-30).

Kendall Kenyon converted on a put-back and Ashley Wakefield drove the baseline for a bucket off the glass as Pacific opened the second half with five straight points. But Fresno State snapped a 6:29 scoring drought to cut Pacific's lead to 37-35.

Wakefield drove for another basket as Pacific grabbed a seven-point lead at 44-37 before Sheedy responded with a lay-up. Gena Johnson finished in transition and Rodriguez hit a three for a 52-43 advantage with 9:22 to go.

McKenzie found Kenyon with the dump-off pass for a 10-point lead, but Fresno's Taylor Thompson answered at the other end. After McKenzie beat the shot clock with a floater in the lane, Johnson hit another jumper as the Tigers led by double-digits with 2:33 remaining.

Moore rattled home a three-pointer, but Johnson hit a pair of free throws, the Tigers picked up a stop and ran out the clock.

Johnson and Conricode each finished with six points, while Butler added five points. Moore finished with a game-high 20 points while Thompson added 10 points. Pacific was outscored in the paint for the first time all season, as the Bulldogs held a one-bucket edge at 34-32.

Pacific will hit the road for four consecutive away games, starting Monday at San Jose State. Tip-off from the SJSU Event Center in San Jose is at 7 p.m.