LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A valiant fourth quarter effort carried the University of the Pacific women's basketball team to an upset over the #2 seed Saint Mary's on Tuesday, 77-73.
Desire Finnie finished with 25 points, tying her career-high. Finnie went 8-of-17 from the floor, 1-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-9 from the line in 23 minutes of action.
The Tigers claimed their first lead of the game with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Ameela Li found GeAnna Luaulu-Summers underneath to hit the shot and draw the foul on Saint Mary's to tie the game. Luaulu-Summers completed the three-point play to give the Tigers a 59-58 lead.
With 4:30 remaining in the game, the Tigers dug deep and grinded it out to the bitter end, as Brooklyn McDavid grabbed a steal and passed it out to Li. Li found McDavid up the floor for the layup to increase the Orange and Black lead, 61-58. Luaulu-Summers followed that up with a sinker from downtown to give the Tigers' an 8-0 run before Megan McKay ended it, making 1-of-2 from the line.
In the final minute and a half of the game, Saint Mary's came within five, as Sydney Raggio put two in from the line to trail, 66-61. Luaulu-Summers responded, dropping in three shots from the line in less than 10 seconds, to take the Tiger lead back up to eight, 69-61, and that was enough for Pacific to hold onto it and take the victory.
The Orange and Black overcame two nine-point deficits to battle back for the upset. They struggled in the first half to claim the lead, as they managed to come within two-points several different times but could not come out with the lead until the final quarter.
"I'm really proud of how hard our team battled for four quarters," said head coach Bradley Davis. "This was a complete team win, and the players truly earned it. We'll enjoy this one tonight and start getting ready for a tough San Diego team that is playing well right now."
Raggio registered a double-double in the loss to Pacific, putting up 26 points to lead all scorers and grabbed 15 rebounds. Stella Beck and McKay contributed to the Gaels offense with 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Joining Finnie on the Tigers offense, Luaulu-Summers scored 20 points while Li had 14. Finnie and Luaulu-Summers combined for 45 of the 77 points. McDavid grabbed six boards to lead the Pacific defense.
With the win, the Tigers advance to the semifinals on Monday, March 5, for the second time in program history. The last time a #7 seed made the semifinals was in 2011 by San Diego.