Women's Hoops Topped By BYU In WCC Semifinal
Las Vegas, Nev. - KiKi Moore scored 26 points and recorded seven steals, but the Pacific women's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start, falling to BYU, 77-64, in the semifinals of the WCC Basketball Championships Monday at Orleans Arena
Sam Pettinger grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and scored nine points, while Hailie Eackles chipped in eight points.
Lexi Eaton led BYU's five players in double-figure scoring with 14 points, while Stephanie Rovetti added 13, Kylie Maeda and Kim Beeston 12 each, and Jennifer Hamson 10.
Moore reached the 2,000-point scoring mark in her career, shooting 10-of-24 before fouling out.
BYU hit eight of their first 10 shots and never looked back, as the Cougars never trailed. BYU shot 52 percent for the game, while the Tigers connected at 37 percent.
Pacific falls to 18-12 on the season and will await a post-season announcement next Monday. BYU (26-5) advances to Tuesday's WCC final against No. 19 Gonzaga.
Beeston opened the scoring for BYU with a three-pointer, and Eackles answered with a three from the top of the key for Pacific.
Hamson finished over the top for a 8-3 BYU lead, before Unique Coleman scored on a put-back to bring Pacific within five. But the Cougars hit back-to-back threes to stretch the lead to 11. Moore drained a three, but Beeston matched it on the other end.
Pacific drove to the rim, drawing fouls on the Cougars, but BYU hit 10 of 13 from the field to start the game to build an 18-point lead. Pettinger's drive drew the third foul on Hamson with 10:03 to go in the first.
Erin Butler knocked down a three from the corner, and Eackles hit a pull-up jumper, but the Tigers came up empty on seven of nine possessions, trailing 34-16 with 4:13 to go in the half.
Moore posted back-to-back baskets, and drove again to pull Pacific within a dozen at 34-22. After a BYU free throw, Moore hit a floater before halftime as the Tigers trailed by 11 at the break.
Pacific shot 29 percent in the first half, while BYU converted at a 57 percent clip. Moore and BYU's Kylie Maeda led all scorers with 11 at halftime.
BYU tallied inside buckets before Kendall Kenyon finished at the rim, and Moore added a three-pointer. Moore finished again to pull the Tigers within nine, but Beeston answered with a three-pointer for the Cougars. After another Moore drive, Lexi Eaton added a three for the Cougars.
Moore drive to the rim twice, and finished and-one to bring Pacific within six, at 51-45 with 11:59 to go. But BYU reeled off 10-straight points, as Eaton knocked down an open three from the corner, and Hamson finished inside twice as 11 of the first 15 fouls in the second half went against the Tigers.
Stephanie Rovetti and Hailie Eackles traded threes, before Parrish drove to the rim for a bucket.
Pettinger added a pair of three-pointers to cut the gap to 73-59, but the Tigers ran out of time.
Erin Butler chipped in six points, hitting 2-of-3 from three-point range, while Kenyon added five points and six rebounds.
Pacific's dribble-drive offense got to the interior for 28 points in the paint, two more than BYU, and racked up 21 BYU fouls. But the Tigers couldn't capitalize as BYU attempted over twice as many free throws, 27 to 13.
The Tigers will likely head to the WNIT for the third-straight season, and would earn an automatic berth in the tournament if both Gonzaga and BYU are selected to the NCAA Tournament.