Pacific women's basketball (9-3, 2-0 WCC) picked up its third straight win and remained perfect in WCC play with a 76-66 victory over Portland (8-6, 0-3 WCC).
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Tigers, but the Pilots rallied in the fourth quarter to cut what was at one point a 21-point lead down to as little as six, but Pacific held on thanks to clutch free throws and a big steal from Valerie Higgins that led to a transition bucket from Ameela Li to lock up the victory.
Higgins and Brooklyn McDavid both notched double-doubles extending their streak to three and two games respectively while Ameela Li scored 21 for her second game with at least 20 points in a row and her fourth of the season. The Tigers held Portland to a 31% field goal percentage.
Pacific opened the game on fire with their shooting knocking down nearly half of their shots in the first quarter and led 12-3 three minutes into the game. Pacific's hot streak continued into the second quarter and the Tigers carried a 43-32 lead into the half thanks in part to Higgins and Li who both scored in double figures in the first 20 minutes.
Out of the break, McDavid took over in the third quarter with 11 of her team's 18 points behind a 4-6 shooting performance. The sophomore added in seven rebounds in the quarter. On the defensive end, the Tigers held Portland to 21% shooting from the field to extend the Tiger lead to 16.
In the fourth quarter, the tables turned. Pacific shot just 28% while the Pilots shot 38%, their best percentage of the game, and cut the Tiger lead down to six with 50 seconds to play. Portland sent Higgins to the line where she made both shots. Following a Pilot timeout, she turned around and stole the inbounds pass to set up a quick bucket for Li on the other end of the floor to make it a 10-point game. The Pilots continued to send the Tigers to the line in the dying seconds and Pacific made five of its six free throws to lock up the victory at the Chiles Center.
The Tigers take their undefeated Conference record on the road to No. 17 Gonzaga on Saturday in a 12 p.m. game.
- Pacific led 25-15 after the first quarter and opened up with a 12-3 lead in the first three minutes.
- Isabelle Parker, who started the game on the bench, led the team with eight points in only five minutes of play.
- Valerie Higgins had six points, five rebounds and assist and a block in the quarter. She shot 2-2 from the field
- Ameela Li had six points, four assists and three steals as well. She shot 3-3 from the field
- As a team, Pacific shot 47.6% in the quarter.
- Portland turned the ball over six times, three times as many as Pacific.
- Pacific outscored Portland 18-17 in the quarter.
- Ameela Li led the team with five points. Her first basket of the quarter moved her to 800 points for her career.
- Lianna Tillman came off the bench and scored four points in six minutes.
- Brooklyn McDavid took over in the third quarter scoring 11 points and pulling down seven rebounds. She shot 4-6 from the floor.
- Portland shot just 21% in the third quarter making just four shots in the run of play.
- Portland outscored Pacific 21-15 in the final quarter.
- Ameela Li led the Tigers with eight points, half of which came from the free throw line in the final minute.
- Valerie Higgins recorded her third-straight double-double and her sixth of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
- Brooklyn McDavid recorded her second-straight double-double with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She has five double-doubles on the season.
- Ameela Li scored at least 20 points for the second game in a row and the third time this season.
- Higgins extended her streak with at least 10 points in a game to 12. Her streak is longer than any other active Tiger.
- Li scored her 800th career point in the second quarter.
- As a team, the Tigers recorded 50 rebounds for the second time this season. Most recently, Pacific did so against San Jose State on Nov. 29.
- Pacific's wire-to-wire win was its first since playing Seattle on Dec. 3.
- Li made three three-pointers to move to 94 on her career, good for 13th all-time at Pacific.
- Li had three steals in the game to move to 141 on her career, which ties her for 12th all-time with Kendall Kenyon and Prim Walters.