Women's Basketball Ousted From WCC Quarters

(photo by WCC/Kyle Terada)
(photo by WCC/Kyle Terada)

Las Vegas - Hailie Eackles scored 17 points while Erin Butler added 10, but the Pacific women's basketball team couldn't overcome foul trouble and a lukewarm shooting night in the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships quarterfinal, falling 74-64 to San Francisco.

Kendall Kenyon scored seven points with eight rebounds while being limited to five minutes in the second half. Desire Finnie added nine points and four rebounds. Butler grabbed seven boards, while Madison Parrish added four assists. Emily Simons scored six points with three rebounds - all in the second half.

Third-seeded Pacific falls to 21-9 on the season, while sixth-seeded USF improves to 18-12.

The Tigers shot 32 percent for the game, and after erasing an early 14-point deficit to take a second half lead, saw the Dons close the game with a 15-5 run. Pacific forced 21 turnovers, but turned them into just 16 points, while the Dons capitalized on just 13 Pacific turnovers, turning them in to 14 points.

The Dons shot 26-of-34 from the free throw line, as Pacific was whistled for an inexplicable 31 fouls to the Dons' 17, with each team having 74 possessions. Seven Tigers finished the game with three or more fouls. The Tigers converted 15-of-21 from the strip.

Butler opened the scoring with a four-point play. Kenyon added a jumper in the paint before Taylor Proctor put the Dons on the board. Finnie's steal and lay-up stretched the lead to 8-2. Kenyon put-back a three-point miss for a 12-7 advantage, and after a pair of USF free throws, Finnie recorded another steal and run-out. USF answered with an inside bucket before Najah Queenland rattled home a three-pointer. Butler answered a Zhane Dikes three-pointer with another three-pointer for a 20-14 lead with 11:38 to go in the first.

GeAnna Luaulu-Summers knocked down a jumper, but USF reeled off a 11-0 run to take the lead at 28-22. USF took its largest lead at 24-23 as Pacific went into a 1-for-10 shooting slump.

Luaulu-Summers took it to the rim and finished while being fouled. Eackles added a three-pointer to trim USF's lead to 36-29, but USF picked up a turnover and Winston finished for 14-point Dons advantage at 43-29.

Eackles hit three free throws and added a three-pointer, while Emily Simons capped a 8-0 run to close the half.

The Tigers trailed 43-37 at the half, as USF connected on 16-of-18 from the free throw line as Pacific was whistled for 16 fouls. The Tigers hit 10-of-11 free throws on nine USF infractions.

Pacific shot 34 percent (11-of-32) in the first half, while USF converted on 12-of-26 for 46 percent.

Eackles opened the second half with a three-pointer and Kenyon finished inside as the Tigers scored the first six points of the second half to tie the game. Both teams hit scoring lulls as Proctor scored inside to put USF back in front, 45-43. Kenyon picked up her fourth foul with 14:42 to go and the Dons added a pair of free throws.  

Pacific attacked the rim, as Madison Parrish and Finnie hit free throws to bring the Tigers within 48-46 with 10:42 to go. Simons scored on a lay-up to knot the game at 48-48.

USF posted back-to-back jumpers in the paint before Simons scored again and Butler hit a three from the corner to cap a 9-4 spurt and give the Tigers a 53-52 lead.

Kristina Johnson rattled home a jumper, but Proctor answered inside and Paige Spietz hit a jumper in the paint as the Dons edged out 56-55.

Luaulu-Summers canned a three, and after a Winston triple, Johnson tied the game at 59-59 with a free throw. After nine minutes on the bench Kenyon checked back in with 5:18 to play, before Winston's lay-up gave USF the lead. On the Tigers' next possession, Kenyon curled toward the hoop for a right hand floater and and drew contact, but the call went against Pacific as Kenyon drew her fifth.

Following the deflating call, the Dons scored six-straight points for a 65-59 lead with 3:32 to go as the Tigers regrouped.

Eackles scored inside, but USF answered back before Eackles hit a triple to cut the gap to 67-64. but the Tigers missed their final five shots. Winston added a lay-up at the buzzer for the final margin.

Pacific will await word on a post-season berth, to be announced Selection Monday, March 16th.