Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific Women's Basketball team returns to the court Saturday for Pacific Plays Pink against Saint Mary's at 2 p.m.
Once again, the Tigers will don pink uniforms for Pacific Plays Pink as they play in support of breast cancer awareness. All proceeds from donations on the day will go towards the Team Melissa fund. Melissa Ann Galvin-Dobson was a Stockton native and former Pacific Tiger Dance coach.
The Tigers enter Saturday's contest at 16-6 overall, and 8-3 in West Coast Conference play. Pacific is coming off back-to-back road wins, at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. Kristina Johnson led the Tigers at LMU as she handed out a career-best 12 assists to go with 13 points for her first career double-double. It was the most assists by a Tiger since 1996 (Tina Miteko, 12, vs UC Irvine on 1/2/96). Johnson now ranks third in the WCC with 4.1 assists per game. She also ranks 78th nationally in assist to turnover ratio.
Four Tigers scored in double-figures in the 84-61 win. In addition to Johnson's 13 point, Hailie Eackles added 17 points while Kendall Kenyon posted 16 with seven rebounds. Madison Parrish posted 11 points with five rebounds, while Najah Queenland posted career-highs with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Pacific also tallied a 63-59 win at Pepperdine last Thursday behind a balanced attack. Parrish posted 14 points and seven rebounds while Eackles turned in 10 points. Johnson chipped in nine points and five assists and Unique Coleman also scored nine points. Kenyon tallied seven points and 12 rebounds for Pacific and GeAnna Luaulu-Summers added seven points.
The Tigers currently sit tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference, one game back of a tie for second between Saint Mary's and BYU at 9-2. The Gaels are also 16-6 overall, and posted wins over LMU and Pepperdine last weekend. The Gaels pulled out a 53-49 win at Pepperdine Saturday, closing the game with the final five points to escape with a win. Saint Mary's also needed a late 7-0 run to top LMU last on Thursday, the Lions pushed Saint Mary's in a 56-49 Gaels win.
The pair of victories moved Saint Mary's head coach Paul Thomas to within one win of 400 in his career in 21 seasons.
The Gaels are led by Lauren Nicholson, who averages 17.0 points per game. Nicholson missed the contest at LMU due to illness and was scoreless in 12 minutes of action at Pepperdine. The Tigers will have their work cut out for them on the glass, as Saint Mary's leads the WCC and is top 10 nationally in rebounding margin at +11.5.
Kenyon leads Pacific in rebound with 11.1 per game, but the Tigers' rebounding margin is -4.2, eighth in the WCC.
Pacific has won four in a row in the series with the Gaels, including all three as members of the WCC. The Tigers won 88-86 at Saint Mary's this season on Jan. 10, as Eackles drilled a game-winning three-pointer in overtime. Last year, the Tigers swept the season series, as Pacific posted a 91-80 road victory and then smothered the Gaels at home, 64-47. In the final non-conference meeting in the 2012-13 season, Pacific tallied a 75-72 road win in Moraga behind 13 three-pointers while erasing an 8-point deficit.
The game can be seen live for free in high definition on TheW.tv.