LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A double-digit effort by three players carried the University of the Pacific women 's basketball team to a victory in the first round of the West Coast Conference Championships over the Portland Pilots, 85-60.
In the first quarter after a minute and a half of action, Luaulu-Summers put the Tigers on the board first, sinking both shots from the line. Julie Spencer answered back for the Pilots to tie it up, 2-2. From there, Ameela Li hit Jessica Blakeslee on the backdoor pass to give the lead back to the Tigers, 4-2. Luaulu-Summers pulled up for a shot from downtown to give the Orange and Black a 7-2 lead, halfway through the first quarter. Darian Slaga of Portland, ended the Tigers' 7-0 run to trail by three, 7-4.
The Tigers went on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter starting with Brooklyn McDavid sinking two from the line. Luaulu-Summers played tough defense to come up with a steal and go coast-to-coast to increase the Pacific lead, 23-10. Chelsea Lidy completed the run scoring four points.
The Orange and Black did not let up, as they controlled the whole second quarter. With just 5:30 minutes remaining in the second, the Tigers held the Pilots to just two points. Portland scored first to trail, 27-12, but Pacific answered with Finnie laying one in underneath to start a 12-0 run for the Tigers.
The Orange and Black went up, 29-12, with Lidy dumping a pass inside to Jenelle Grant for the layup. Finnie completed a three-point play and hit a jumper inside to contribute to the run. Newman hit the final shot of the run from downtown before the Pilots answered back to end it, 41-14.
In the final two minutes of the first half, McDavid and Lidy both put up points to increase the lead, 48-23. Luaulu-Summers closed out the half on a buzzer beater shot from downtown to give the Tigers a commanding, 53-27, lead at the intermission.
In the second half, Pacific continued to run away with it and defeated the Pilots, 85-60, to advance to the second-round quarterfinals.
Pacific shot 45.1 percent from the floor, 42.3 percent from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent from the line.
Defensively, Li grabbed 10 rebounds, with nine of them on the defensive side.
Pacific advances to the second round of playoffs and will return to action on Friday, March 2 to face the #2 seed Saint Mary's with tipoff slated for 2 p.m.