Women's Hoops Swarms Nevada For Road Win

photo by Keith Sanpei (KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)
photo by Keith Sanpei (KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)

Reno, Nev. - Kendall Kenyon tallied 20 points as the Pacific women's basketball team forced 28 Nevada turnovers en route to a 64-53 road victory Tuesday in Reno. Madison Parrish added 14 points and six assists, while Erin Butler tallied 11 points and five rebounds.

Kristina Johnson and Hailie Eackles each handed our four assists as the Tigers posted 18 helpers on 24 field goals. Pacific also hit 10 of 13 from the free throw line including all eight crunch time free throws.

Pacific improves to 4-2 on the season, while Nevada falls to 2-5.

The Tigers were outshot by percentage, slightly, 42 percent to 41, but attempted 11 more field goals due to a swarming defense forcing

Kenyon opened the scoring with a lay-up in transition off a long feed from Kristina Johnson. Kenyon struck again off a Nevada turnover, as the Tigers forced three Wolf Pack miscues on their first four defensive possessions, building a 6-2 lead.

Nevada 6-8 center Mimi Mungedi posted a bucket inside, but Eackles and Coleman added pull-up jumpers in the paint for a 10-4 Pacific lead. The Wolf Pack responded as Ashlee Jones hit a three-pointer and Mengedi scored inside for a 9-0 Nevada run.

Kenyon finished a feed from Parrish on back-to-back possessions and Parrish added a three-pointer from the top of the key as the Tigers took a 19-13 lead with 8:45 to go in the first.  Emily Simons hit a jumper in the paint, but Mungedi scored on the other end. Eackles added a jumper with the shot clock dwindling as the Tigers carried a 27-22 lead.

Parrish and GeAnna Luaulu-Summers stretched the Tigers' lead to 33-22 with 1:04 before the half. Jones hit a triple for the Wolf Pack before halftime, however as Nevada narrowed the gap to eight, 33-25, at the break. Pacific shot 45 percent in the first half, and held the Wolf Pack to 9-of-26 shooting (35 percent). The Tigers forced 13 turnovers on Nevada's first 25 possessions, and on 16 of the Wolf Pack's 35 first have possessions. Kenyon paced Pacific with 12 points in the half, on 6-of-8 shooting.

Kenyon answered Mungedi's half-opening basket with a bucket inside off a pass from Johnson. Butler drained a three from the corner to put Pacific up nine, 40-31.

Nevada whittled the Tigers' lead down as Emily Burns' lay-in cut Pacific's lead to 42-38 with 15:03 to go. But Butler's three from the corner and Kenyon's bucket while being foul pushed the Tigers' lead to nine, at 47-38 with 11:26 remaining.

Pacific's defense forced more Nevada turnovers, but the Tigers maintained a nine-point advantage. The Wolf Pack crept to within five, but Butler nailed a trey with 4:15 to play to restore an eight-point advantage.

The Wolf Pack pulled within five on a free throw by Mungedi, but Parrish knocked down a pair of free throws and the Tigers forced a turnover.

Kristina Johnson and Najah Queenland each hit their free throws as the Tigers wrapped up the 64-53 win.

Simons finished with four points on two attempts and five rebounds.

Mungedi led the Wolf Pack with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Burns added 10.

Pacific is back in action on Saturday at Hawai'i, in a 9 p.m. tip-off (Pacific Time).