Women's Hoops Win Shootout Over Saint Mary's, 91-80

 

Stockton, Calif. - Hailie Eackles scored a career-high 22 points and Kendall Kenyon led the Tigers with 28 as the Pacific women's basketball team won a shootout against Saint Mary's, 91-80 at the Alex G. Spanos Center Saturday evening.

KiKi Moore flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. For Saint Mary's, Jackie Nared posted a game-high 33 points, while Danielle Mauldin went for 24 points and 10 rebounds, setting the WCC career rebounding record.

Pacific erased an 11-point first-half deficit and despite leading by as many as 11 in the second half, the game still featured eight ties and 13 lead changes. An 8-0 run that began with 9:41 remaining in the game was enough to seize momentum for Pacific.

The Tigers improve to 10-9 overall, 5-4 in West Coast Conference play. Saint Mary's falls to 16-4 overall, and 6-3 in WCC action.

Kate Gaze and Moore traded three-pointers to open the contest and Nared hit a three-pointer for a 10-7 SMC lead before either team missed a shot. After a Moore drive to the rim, Erin Butler knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 12-12.

But Saint Mary's used a 11-0 run to take a 23-12 lead as Pacific missed six straight field goal attempts. Kenyon halted the run with an inside finish and Hailie Eackles added a runner in the lane to cut the gap to 25-17. Unique Coleman finished in transition to close within 27-21 and then drew contact on a fast break one-on-one. Kenyon finished on a fast-break, and Eackles drove for a bucket to cap a 12-4 run as the Tigers clawed their way back to within 29-27.

Parrish knocked down a three-point to give the Tigers their first lead at 32-31.

Mauldin hauled in her third rebound of the game with 3:45 left in the first, her 1,123rd for her career to set the WCC all-time record. SMC grabbed the lead back on a pair of free throws from Mauldin, but Eackles drained a three-pointer for the lead back, and was fouled on her next trey attempt, hitting a pair of free throws for a 41-37 lead with 2:28 left in the half.

Nared finished off a turnover to knot things up at 41-41 with over a minute left in the half. Mauldin scored inside for the Gaels and Saint Mary's posted a stop on the other end as the Gaels took a 43-41 lead into halftime.

Eackles led Pacific at the break with 11, while Nared (19) and Mauldin (12) led the Gaels. Saint Mary's held a 22-14 advantage on the boars, but Pacific forced 10 turnovers while committing just five themselves and outscored the Gaels on the break 11-0.

Kenyon brought Pacific back to even with the first basket of the second half and Eackles' three gave the tigers a 46-43 lead. After SMC surged back in front, Eackles hit an and-one three-pointer for a 54-51 lead. The Gaels responded with six straight points, as personal fouls started to mount for the Tigers.

Butler sliced to the rack for a bucket, and Marjorie Heard finished inside as well. Moore gave the Tigers the lead back at 60-59 with a lay-in with 11:47 left.

Eackles hit a pair of free throws as Pacific took a 67-62 lead and Butler drained a three-pointer to stretch the margin to eight with 7:12 remaining. Moore and Kenyon added jumpers, but Shannon Mauldin knocked down a three to keep Saint Mary's within five, at 74-69. Kenyon scored six straight Pacific points, but Danielle Mauldin scored a pair of buckets as Pacific nursed a five-point advantage.

Kenyon scored three times, and Pacific stopped the Gaels on two of three possessions to seize control, 84-75 with 2:26 to go.  From there, Pacific closed it out at the free throw line, as the Tigers hit 13-of-18 in the second half, and 20-of-27 from the stripe in the game.

Pacific shot 47 percent in the second half and racked up the Tigers' third 50-point half this season.

Kenyon added a blocked shot in the contest to move within one of tying Pacific's career record of 108. Butler finished with eight points and four rebounds, while Parrish finished with seven points and five assists.

Pacific will wrap a five-game homestand next weekend against San Diego (Thursday, 7 p.m.) and BYU (Saturday, 2 p.m.)