Stockton, Calif. - Pacific celebrated the New Year by lighting up the scoreboard with 102 points as the women's basketball team closed out 2012 with a 102-60 win over CSU Bakersfield Monday afternoon. Seven players scored in double-figures as the Tigers improved to 10-2.
Kendall Rodriguez led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds while Gena Johnson added 14 points and six assists. Ashley Wakefield (five-of-six shooting) and Erica McKenzine (five-of-eight) each tallied 13 points. Kendall Kenyon was the fifth starter in double-figures with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Shanice Butler and Hailie Eackles each scored 10 off the bench. Eackles set a career-high, while Butler tied her career best.
The Tigers handed out 22 assists on 34 field goals, and shot 51 percent (34-of-67) for the game. Pacific held CSU Bakersfield to under 30 percent shooting for the game (19-of-64, .297) and forced 27 turnovers.
Pacific (10-2) tied the program high for points in a game against a Division I opponent, the third-highest point total in Tiger history. It was Pacific's first time hitting the century mark in a game since a 101-78 win over New Mexico State on Feb. 20, 1991.
CSU Bakersfield was led by Batabe Zempare with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Janae Coffee added 16 points and nine rebounds. The Road Runners fall to 2-14 on the season.
"Today was a great day in terms of showing that we have balance," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "Seven players in double figures shows that we share the ball well, and it's not one player taking too many shots. We had 22 team assists, and we shot 51 percent. From a coaching standpoint, that's what you want. You want balance, a high shooting percentage and players sharing the ball."
Pacific tallied the first six points of the game, and built a 21-5 lead six minutes in. The Road Runners scored seven of the next 12 points to pull within 25-12. A pair of CSUB turnovers led to fastbreak lay-ups by Hailie Eackles and Erica McKenzie as the Tigers went on an 20-2 run to stretch the margin to 41-14 on a lay-up by Shanice Butler with 4:57 to go before the half.
Pacific entered the half leading 49-19, as the Tigers shot 56 percent (19-of-34), while holding Bakersfield to 23 percent (7-of-30). The Tigers tallied 32 points in the paint and scored 20 points off 16 first-half CSUB turnovers.
The Road Runners scored 41 of their 60 points in the second half, shooting 35 percent. But the Tigers connected at 46 percent and tallied 53 second-half points (tied for the most in a half this season).
Pacific led by as many as 44, at 96-52 with 2:48 to go in the game. Freshman Tabatha Anderson hit a pair of free throws, her first career points, giving the Tigers points 99 and 100.
Eackles turned in her 10-point performance with six rebounds and two steals (all career-highs) in 15 minutes of play. Sam Pettinger added six points and four assists, while Kristina Johnson handed out three assists in 16 minutes to go with three points. Brianna Johnson grabbed six rebounds and scored four points to go with three steals.
The Tigers wrapped non-conference play with 10 wins for the first time since joining the Big West in 1984-85. Prior to joining the BWC, a limited conference scheduled allowed for as many as 19 non-conference games.
"We're pleased with how we finished pre-conference," Roberts added. "I'm really proud of our team and the pre-conference schedule that we've had. You know, 10-2 is a very respectable record. But all our goals this season are focused on the conference. The 'real' season starts Saturday against UC Davis to open Big West play."
Pacific opens the 18-game Big West schedule on Saturday, at 4 p.m. against UC Davis at home.