Pacific Closes Out Eastern Washington, 69-60

Pacific Closes Out Eastern Washington, 69-60


Stockton, Calif. – Sophomore guard Gena Johnson scored all 15 of her points in the second half to lead four Tigers in double-figures as the Pacific women's basketball team posted 69-60 win over Eastern Washington Monday night at the Spanos Center. Junior forward Kendall Rodriguez added her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds to go with four steals.

The Tigers used a 14-4 run over 3:52 to turn a 55-55 with 4:30 remaining contest into a 10-point advantage to lock down the victory.

Junior guard Erica McKenzie added 13 points, three assists and three steals, while junior forward Ashley Smith chipped in 11 points, including seven-of-eight from the free throw line, and five rebounds.

Pacific improves to 5-5 on the season, while Eastern Washington falls to 5-7 on the year.

The Tigers shot 47 percent from the field in the second half, attacking the basket to finish with 36 points in the paint.  Rodriguez and Johnson each tallied a pair of blocked shots, while sophomore guard Sam Pettinger added a pair of clutch threes to her solid defensive performance. Pettinger finished with six points and a steal.

The Eagles opened to an early 8-3 lead as Pacific hit just one of its first nine attempts from the field. But the Tigers reeled off a 10-4 run as Kristina Johnson hit a hanging jumper from the paint, and Kendall Rodriguez and Christina Thompson each tallied inside for a 13-12 Tigers' lead.

Eastern Washington surged ahead, as Brianne Ryan scored seven-straight points, but Sam Pettinger answered back with a three-pointer, and Rodriguez scored twice in the paint to tie the game at 25-25 at the half.

The Tigers shot 31 percent in the first half, while EWU connected at 36 percent. Pacific used seven offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points, but EWU scored 13 points of 12 Pacific turnovers. The Tigers forced 11 EWU miscues, while rebounds were even at the break, 20-20.

Wakefield and Gena Johnson each drove the lane for buckets to open the second half, as the Tigers took a 29-27 lead.  The Tigers hit four of their first five shots to take a 35-33 lead, and then Johnson converted an and-one for a three-point lead.

Johnson and Ashley Smith added lay-ups inside as the Tigers stretched the lead to seven, at 42-35, but the Eagles hit three free throws to cut the Pacific lead to four.

After a floater by McKenzie, and two free throws each by McKenzie and Johnson, Pettinger drained a three from the wing as the Tigers took an 11-point advantage, 53-42 with 8:22 remaining.

Eastern Washington answered with an 11-0 run, however, on lay-ups by Carrie Ojeda and Laura Hughes and a triple from Chenise Pakootas to bring the Eagles all the way back at 53-53 with 6:07 remaining.

McKenzie drove and kissed it off the glass for a 57-55 lead with 4:18 to go, and Rodriguez put the Tigers up four with a lay-up off the feed from Wakefield, 61-57 with 2:41 remaining.

Wakefield added a driving lay-up, and put the Tigers up by six, and after McKenzie came away with a steal on the defensive end, she hit a pair of free throws for an eight-point margin.

Smith added a pair of free throws to complete the run and reach double-figures on the night.

Eastern Washington was led by Ryan's 15 points, while Chene Cooper added 14 and Pakootas added 11.

The Tigers are back in action on Wednesday in a 2 p.m. matinee against Air Force at the Alex G. Spanos Center.