Pacific women's basketball (8-3, 1-0 WCC) rang in the new year with a win over Saint Mary's (7-5, 0-1 WCC) 76-67 at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Monday night.
The Tigers were glad to be back at home after not playing in their arena since Dec. 8 and took care of the Gaels, which entered the game as the No. 19 team in the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25. The Tigers won the rebound and turnover battle while three players finished in double figures. Sophomores Brooklyn McDavid and Valerie Higgins both had double-doubles with points and rebounds while senior Ameela Li led her team with 23 points.
The game started as a tight affair with Saint Mary's leading the way for the first six minutes of the game, but the Tigers wrapped up the first quarter on a 8-2 run that put Pacific out front 21-19. The Tigers played tight defense through the run allowing just one basket on four attempts while Higgins recorded and block and freshman Kaylin Randhawa snuck into a passing lane for a steal that was nearly a quick bucket on the other end of the floor.
Saint Mary's would take the lead back one more time early in the second quarter, but the Tigers tied it up seconds later on a McDavid jump shot and took back the lead for good with 5:53 to play in the second quarter.
The Tigers shot 43% in the second half and outrebounded the Gaels 19-14 in the final two quarters while forcing 10 turnovers to lock up the game. Pacific held the ball for all of the final minute of the game thanks to back-to-back offensive rebounds from Isabel Newman and McDavid. The final offensive rebound came with 27 seconds left to play and allowed Li to dribble out the final seconds.
- Pacific led 21-19 after the first quarter and has still not trailed through one quarter yet this season.
- The Tigers ended the quarter on an 8-2 run.
- Saint Mary's forward Sydney Raggio led the way for all players with eight points, however, Li had six for Pacific while Higgins and McDavid were not far behind with four points.
- McDavid had five rebounds to go with her four points in the quarter.
- Jessica Blakeslee knocked down a three-pointer and had three rebounds.
- Higgins had three points as well as a block and a steal in the quarter.
- Li had three assists to go with her six points.
- The Tigers outscored Saint Mary's 20-15 in the second quarter.
- Li and McDavid both had six points in the quarter while Saint Mary's Carly Turner had six as well.
- Higgins stuffed the stat sheet with four points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the quarter.
- Saint Mary's outscored Pacific 20-19 in the third quarter, it was the only time the Gaels did so in the game.
- SMC's Emily Codding led all players with seven points. Li had six for the Tigers while six Tigers made their way into the box score with points in the quarter.
- Pacific made 50% of its shots in the quarter (9-18)
- Pacific outscored the Gaels in the final quarter, 16-13.
- Valerie Higgins led all players with six points in the quarter. She also had two rebounds, a steal and an assist.
- Li had five points and also had three steals and two assists
- The Tigers outrebounded Saint Mary's 12-4 in the final quarter. Seven of the Tigers rebounds came on the offensive end.
- The seven offensive rebounds led to six second-chance points.
- Pacific possessed the ball for the final minute and 18 seconds of the game thanks to two offensive rebounds.
- Pacific is off to its best start to a season since the 2012-13 season when the Tigers went 9-2 through their first 11 games on their way to the WNIT.
- Tonight's win over Saint Mary's was the first at the Alex G. Spanos Center since Feb. 7, 2015.
- Valerie Higgins scored in double figures tonight with 16 points to extend her streak of games with at least 10 points to 11.
- Higgins had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for her team-leading fifth of the season. She's had a double-double in two-straight games.
- Brooklyn McDavid had a double-double tonight with 17 points and 10 rebounds. It was her fourth of the season.
- Ameela Li had her third 20-point performance of the season with 23. She has five for her career which ties her with senior Chelsea Lidy for the lead among active Tigers.
- Li played in her 100th game tonight for the Tigers.
- Li made 10 field goals tonight, she's just the second Tiger to do so this season. McDavid made 10 shots against North Dakota State on Nov. 23.
- Pacific out offensive rebounded the Gaels 21-10 in the game.
- Freshman Kaylin Randhawa had a career high in points with eight. She also tied a career-high with two rebounds.
- Senior guard Tylah King was granted a release from the team to return home to Australia to tend to family issues. She will not return to Pacific. She is in our thoughts as we progress through the season.