Women's Hoops Tripped Up At USF

Hailie Eackles (photo by Reagan Lunn)
Hailie Eackles (photo by Reagan Lunn)

San Francisco - The Pacific women's basketball team fell on the road at San Francisco Thursday night, 81-71, at War Memorial Gym despite four players in double-figures.

Hailie Eackles scored 17 points while Najah Queenland added 15. Emily Simons added 10 points and seven rebounds, while GeAnna Luaulu-Summers scored 10 with eight boards.

The Tigers suffered a second-quarter drought in which USF picked up the lead and the Dons never trailed again. Pacific shot 40 percent for the game to USF's 46 percent. Pacific forced 19 turnovers, but turned them only into nine points and committed 21 miscues leading to 18 points.

Queenland opened the scoring with a three-pointer before Simons beat everyone down the floor for a transition lay-up. Luaulu-Summers added a pull-up jumper and Finnie a lay-up for a 9-6 Pacific lead. USF rattled off a 6-1 spurt before Queenland hit a pair of free throws. Luaulu-Summers added a three-pointer to pul within 16-15, but the Dons answered with a three-point play from Taylor Proctor. Eackles found Mauriana Clayton underneath for an easy finish, and Erin Butler drilled a three-pointer and Eackles ran the floor to give the Tigers a 22-21 lead. Pacific closed the first with a 9-0 run to lead 26-21 after the first period.

A Queenland lay-up in the paint stretched Pacific's lead to 26-21 but the Dons pulled within 28-27 before Eackles hung and hit a jumper in the paint. Proctor finished inside to tie the game at 31-31 starting a 6-0 run before Simons answered. USF stretched the lead to 39-33 before Eackles connected on a soft floater from the paint. Ameela Li fed Clayton underneath for a bucket, but the Dons carried a 41-37 lead into halftime.

After shooting 50 percent in the first quarter, the Tigers connected on 35 percent in the second quarter (6-of-17). Pacific forced 11 turnovers in the first half, winning the turnover battle by two, but the Dons converted Pacific miscues into eight points, while the Tigers tallied just six points off 11 turnovers. Finnie was limited to just four minutes in the first half with foul trouble.

Simons hit a lay-up to open the third quarter and Finnie added a three-pointer to pull within 43-42, but Rachel Hunter answered with a three-pointer. Claudia Price added a three for the Dons, as USF stretched the advantage to 53-44 with 5:07 to go. Eackles connected on a pull-up jumper, and Queeland added a three to bring Pacific within 55-49. The Dons took their largest lead at 60-49 before Clayton finished inside just before the end of the third. But USF put back an air-ball just before the clock expired for a 62-51 lead after three.

Queenland and Eackles hit back-to-back threes, cutting the margin to 62-57. Howard and Luaulu-Summers traded threes, and Simons sliced to the rim and scored. But Anna Seilund answered with a triple. Simons scooped home a lay-up, and Queenland drove for a bucket as Pacific pulled within 70-66. But the Tigers came up empty on three-straight possessions.

Luaulu-Summers scored while being fouled in transition, bringing the Tigers within six before Seilund's baseline jumper. Eackles drilled a triple, but Price finished on the interior and Pacific hit two-of-nine down the stretch. USF left the door open for the Tigers, but Pacific came up empty on their final three possessions.

The Tigers fall to 13-15 overall and 6-11 in West Coast Conference play. USF improves to 18-10 overall, 8-8 in WCC play.

Dikes led USF with 22 points while Howard added 15 and Price 13. Proctor finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tigers will return home to play host to Santa Clara in the regular season finale on Saturday at 2 p.m. Pacific will honor seniors Erin Butler and Hailie Eackles prior to tip-off.