Feb. 22, 2011
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Pacific women's basketball team returns home from a three-game road swing to play host to UC Irvine and UC Riverside in the final home weekend of the season. The Tigers face the Anteaters at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Alex G. Spanos Center and will meet the Highlanders on Saturday at 4 p.m. on Senior Day.
Pacific, 7-19 overall, 4-9 Big West, is fighting for one of the remaining spots in the eight-team Big West tournament. The Tigers are tied for eighth in the Big West with Cal State Northridge, and will wrap the regular season on March 5 in Northridge against the Matadors. Pacific and CS Northridge are a half game behind 5-9 Cal State Fullerton, who has two games remaining: against first place Cal Poly and third place UC Davis.
The Anteaters and Tigers will square off for the second time in eight days after UC Irvine pulled away for a 74-66 win on Feb. 17.
"Obviously, the Irvine game is fresh in our minds," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We felt we were right there the entire game, except for one stretch where we didn't execute effectively and that ended up being the difference."
UC Irvine held Pacific to one field goal over a stretch of 11 possessions turning a four-point Pacific lead into a five-point Anteater advantage. Irvine sealed the game from the free throw line to settle on an eight-point victory. The Tigers had erased a seven-point deficit with an 11-0 run before the Anteaters locked down defensively.
Sophomore forward Jordan Rogers (Sparks, Nev.) scored a career-high 21 points against the Anteaters, with 14 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Sophomore forward Kendall Rodriguez (La Habra, Calif.) and freshman guard Gena Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif.) each added 11 in the contest. Johnson added a career-high 28 points in Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton.
"One thing we've shown all year is that we're capable of coming back in games," Roberts continued. "We've showed a lot of toughness in fighting to the end of every single game -- we were down 14 in the second half to UC Davis and came back to win. For our remaining three games, we have to bring that intensity for all 40 minutes. We need to be tough and play a little smarter for the entire game."
The Tigers had that mindset in their first meeting at UC Riverside, as Pacific earned a 62-59 road win over the Highlanders on Jan. 29. Pacific used a 22-9 run to turn a five-point deficit into a nine-point lead over the Highlanders and were able to hold on in the waning seconds.
Prior to tip-off against Riverside, Pacific will honor its four seniors: guards Jennifer Fath (Carrollton, Texas), Claire McLeod (Melbourne, Austrailia) and Arielle White (Los Angeles, Calif.) and forward Andrea Swanson (Littleton, Colo.).