Women's Hoops Wins 21st, Downs Santa Clara 87-75

Women's Hoops Wins 21st, Downs Santa Clara 87-75

Stockton, Calif. - Madison Parrish posted her first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 10 assists as the Pacific women's basketball team fended off Santa Clara, 87-75.

Kendall Kenyon added 24 points and 17 rebounds, while Hailie Eackles tallied 13 points. Kristina Johnson handed out six assists and scored nine points. As a team, the Tigers doled out 20 assists on 28 field goals.

Pacific opened the game with a 32-9 run to seize control, but Santa Clara tightened up the scoreline in the second half by shooting 44 percent from the field and racking up 32 second-half free throw attempts.

The Tigers connected on 9-of-23 (39 percent) from three-point range, to win their fourth straight and for the seventh time in the last eight contests. The Tigers improve to 21-7 overall, 13-4 in WCC play, while Santa Clara falls to 10-16 overall, 5-12 in WCC action.

Pacific's 21 wins are the second-most in program history, behind 2012-13's program-best 27-8 campaign.

Johnson posted two jumpers and Eackles knocked down a triple before Kenyon finished inside for an early 9-2 lead. Eackles and Finnie ran a two-on-one in transition with Finnie finishing. GeAnna Luaulu-Summers and Johnson added three-pointers for a 19-9 lead with 12:22 to go in the first.

Kenyon added an and-one, and Butler and Eackles each added three-pointers as the Tigers reeled off an 16-0 run for a 32-9 lead.

After a pair of buckets by the Broncos, Claire Conricode stroked a three-pointer, but Santa Clara began to chip away before halftime. The Broncos scored eight-straight points to close to 37-26 before Kenyon hit a jumper with one second left in the half for a 40-26 lead.

Pacific shot 47 percent in the first half (15-of-32) including 6-of-12 from three-point range.

The Tigers opened the second half with an 11-0 run, highlighted by a Kenyon and-one, and a reverse lay-up off an offensive rebound for Conricode for a 51-26 lead.

Santa Clara responded with an 8-0 run before Kenyon finished inside. The Broncos got to the free throw line, whittling the Tigers lead to 56-44 with 11:44 to play on 10 free throws and a Emily Wolph lay-up.

Kenyon responded with an and-one bucket, but Santa Clara contented to rack up free throws as Marie Bertholdt hit a pair to bring the Broncos within nine at 70-61.

Madison Parrish hit a three-pointer to push Pacific's lead to a baker's dozen. After a lay-in from Santa Clara's Maddison Allen, Kenyon scored while being fouled (her fourth and-one of the game), for a 14 point advantage.

Pacific picked up four free throws from Luaulu-Summers and Parrish for a 16 point lead, 66-55, but Santa Clara continued to convert from the charity stripe, cutting the gap to 10.

Parrish drained a triple for a 12-point advantage with 3:54 left, but Nici Gilday's free throws cut the margin to nine with 2:06 remaining. After a stop of defense, Gilday converted from the stripe again as Pacific's lead dwindled to seven, 81-74, with 58 seconds left. But Najah Queenland knocked down a pair from the line to give the Tigers breathing room.

More free throws by Bertholdt, Parrish and Queenland settled on the final margin.

Pacific's season high for free throw attempts against was 31 by Utah State entering the contest, but Santa Clara went to the line 32 times in the second half alone, finishing 27-of-37 attempts for the game.

The Tigers racked up 19 fast break points and led for all but 32 seconds in the ballgame.

Johnson and Parrish combined for a 16 assists against three turnovers, as the Tigers - who entered 15th in the NCAA in turnover margin - finished +5 in turnovers, 15-10.

Erin Butler finished with seven points and a made three-pointer, as she's drilled a triple in 21 of 22 games this season. Pacific improved to 28-3 in games when Conricode knocks down a three. The three-point specialist also scored her first two-point basket of the season, with her lay-up in the second half.

The Tigers remained in second place in the WCC, but the out-of-town scoreboard was chaos on the seeding scenarios for the WCC Tournament with one game left on the regular season docket. Saint Mary's fell from a three-way second place tie with a loss to San Francisco, while first-place Gonzaga fell on the road at San Diego. As it stands, the Tigers remain tied with San Diego for second, but need a win and a USD loss against Portland Saturday to earn the No. 2 seed.

Pacific will honor its six seniors following Saturday's 2 p.m. home contest against San Francisco. Johnson, Parrish, Kenyon, Conricode, fifth-year senior Gena Johnson, and Marjorie Heard comprise the winningest senior class in Pacific history. The Tigers have won 83 games and counting in the tenures of Conricode, Kenyon and Kristina Johnson. Gena Johnson has served as Pacific's inspirational leader since an off-season auto accident forced her to redshirt last season. Heard and Parrish joined Pacific as transfers for the 2013-14 season.