Pacific rolls past San Diego, 70-53

Pacific rolls past San Diego, 70-53

Pacific women's basketball (15-7, 8-4 WCC) went on the road and completed the regular-season sweep over San Diego (8-15, 1-11 WCC) with a 70-53 victory in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Tiger sophomores Brooklyn McDavid and Valerie Higgins lifted the Tigers to the victory by helping put together a big second half that separated the two teams. McDavid shot 9-12 for 20 points with five rebounds while Higgins had 20 points of her own off of a 9-15 shooting performance. She also had six assists and five rebounds.

Three Toreros scored in double figures, but what started as a 61% shooting performance for San Diego couldn't be sustained which allowed the Tigers to overcome a slim deficit through the first quarter.

The Tigers shot 38% to open the game, but cleaned up their missed shots with six offensive rebounds to create second-chance opportunities and keep the ball out San Diego's hands. Pacific went on to accumulate 17 offensive boards in the game. McDavid and senior guard Ameela Li had nine and six points respectively in the quarter, but their 15 points made up most of the team's 18 through the first quarter.

The Tigers got their offense going in the second quarter when they got a boost off the bench from sophomore forward Isabelle Parker who had six points, two steals and three rebounds off of a 2-3 shooting performance in just six minutes on the floor. Parker's six points and Higgins' six in the second helped Pacific regain and take the lead for good in the second half.

Out of the halftime break, Pacific took over the game and pulled away. The Tigers ended the third quarter on a 9-2 run that was capped off by a buzzer-beater from Li. With a little under three seconds to play in the quarter, Li received an inbounds pass in the Tigers' offensive zone, made a move to create a wide-open shot at the free-throw line and drained it to give Pacific a 54-42 lead.

The Tigers held on in the fourth quarter behind a 53% shooting performance while forcing six turnovers on defense to keep the Toreros out of striking distance and wrap up the victory.

The top half of the WCC Standings tightened on Thursday. Second-place BYU dropped its third-straight game, this time to third-place Saint Mary's. Pepperdine went on the road and defeated San Francisco on the road to keep Pacific, Saint Mary's and Pepperdine in a three-way tie for third. BYU, who led the league a week ago, now sits just one game ahead of the three teams in third. Loyola Marymount is just a game back of the three teams in third following a win at Santa Clara. First-place Gonzaga was idle and will travel to Portland for a game on Saturday.

Game Summary

First quarter

  • San Diego held a slim 19-18 lead after one quarter.
  • McDavid led all scorers with nine points. Li had six.
  • San Diego's Madison Pollock had six points to help her team take the early lead.
  • Pacific shot 38% but secured six offensive rebounds to help keep the game close early on.

Second quarter

  • The Tigers shot 53% in the quarter to outscore San Diego, 19-13.
  • Higgins and Parker led the Tigers with six points each.
  • San Diego's Kiera Oakry led all scorers with seven points.
  • The Tigers outrebounded the Toreros, 10-4 in the quarter.

Third quarter

  • Pacific outscored San Diego, 17-10 in the quarter.
  • Jessica Blakeslee led all players with five points. Li and Higgins each had four.

Fourth quarter

  • Pacific outscored San Diego, 16-11 in the final quarter.
  • McDavid and Higgins both scored seven points in the quarter.
  • San Diego's Leticia Soares had seven as well.
  • The Toreros committed six turnovers in the final quarter.

Notables

  • The victory was Pacific's eighth in the West Coast Conference, which is the most since the 2014-15 season when the Tigers went 13-5.
  • Li played nearly all 40 minutes in the absence of sophomore guard Lianna Tillman, who did not make the trip to San Diego as she recovered from an Illness in Stockton.
  • The loss was San Diego's 10th in a row.