Women's Hoops Topples Long Beach For Sixth Straight Win

Women's Hoops Topples Long Beach For Sixth Straight Win

Stockton, Calif. -  Kendall Kenyon turned in her fifth-straight double double with 16 points and 19 rebounds as the Pacific women's basketball team pulled away from Long Beach State, 69-53, Saturday at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

Kendall Rodriguez added 13 points and Gena Johnson 10, while Kristina Johnson chipped in a season-high eight points.

Ashley Wakefield handed out four assists to go with eight points, while Sam Pettinger tallied seven points and an assist off the bench. Erica McKenzie tied her career-high with six assists as the Tigers forced 27 turnovers.

Pacific held a +19 advantage in turnovers, committing a season-best eight themselves. The Tigers recorded 18 steals, one off their season-high of 19 against Santa Clara.

"We didn't shoot very well, but that's a credit to Long Beach," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "They did a great job of mixing defenses. But we did a good job of taking care of the basketball and forcing turnovers."

The Tigers - donning pink uniforms on Pacific Plays Pink - improved to 18-3 overall, and 8-1 in the Big West. Long Beach fell to 11-10 overall and 4-5 in the Big West.

Rodriguez hit a three-pointer in transition and Pacific forced five turnovers on Long Beach State's first seven possessions to lead 4-2 three minutes in. Gena Johnson added a pair of lay-ups, but Lauren Spargo and Ella Clark hit three-pointers for the 49ers, as the Tigers led 19-14 midway through the first half.

Long Beach answered with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:42 to go in the first half.

Kristina Johnson drained a pair of threes and a Kenyon put-back as part of a 13-2 Pacific run, as the Tigers forced Long Beach into 11 straight missed shots. But the 49ers hit back-to-back buckets to pull within 34-27 at halftime.

The Tigers forced 14 first-half turnovers, but were out-scored in the paint  14-12 and out-rebounded 26-22 as the 49ers stayed within seven at the break.

"Kristina Johnson really provided a big stretch for us in the first half, hitting two big threes to give us some breathing room," Roberts added.

Long Beach State opened the second half with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 34-34, before Gena Johnson hit a jumper from 16 feet to put Pacific back on top.

Tied at 37-37, Pacific embarked on a 22-6 run over 8:37 to take control of the game.  

Johnson jumpstarted the Tigers with an electrifying rejection a three-point attempt by Alex Sanchez. She picked up the loose ball and took it the other way for a fast break lay-up and a four-point lead.

Rodriguez drained a three-pointer, and after Clark answered with a three of her own for LBSU, Pettinger knocked down a pair of free throws and McKenzie added a three-pointer as the Tigers led by 55-43 with 7:42 left to go.

Rodriguez and Pettinger added back-to-back three-pointers as the Tigers took a 16-point advantage, 62-46 with 3:47 remaining.

Pacific closed it out by holding Long Beach to two field goals in their final 10 attempts to remain unbeaten at home at 11-0.

The Tigers are two wins shy of tying their program record for wins in a season, one home win away from tying the program record for home wins and two home wins away from tying the school record for consecutive home wins.

Rodriguez and Kenyon each tallied four steals, while Kenyon blocked three shots and Gena Johnson two. Kristina Johnson entered the game 0-for-5 from behind the three-point arc but connected on both of her attempts from long distance.

Pacific has won six in a row and 11 of 12, and will face Cal Poly on Thursday at home at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are the lone Big West squad to beat the Tigers this season, taking a 96-95 win in triple overtime at Mott Gym.