Tigers fall to Saint Mary's, 75-62

Tigers fall to Saint Mary's, 75-62

Pacific women's basketball took a loss in its final regular season game of the season at Saint Mary's, 75-62.

The loss locked Saint Mary's into fourth place in the league earning them the honor of fourth-seed at the West Coast Conference Championships in Las Vegas next week. Pacific now finds itself in a wait-and-see scenario to find out where it stands in the league. A loss for Loyola Marymount means the Tigers will clinch the five-seed, but a win for the Lions over Gonzaga will slide the Tigers down to sixth.

Three Tigers scored in double figures in the contest including sophomore guard Valerie Higgins, who recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds with a 9 for 14 shooting performance. Junior forward Jessica Blakeslee scored 15 going 6 for 11 from the field. Senior guard Ameela Li continued to build her resume at Pacific with 11 points to eclipse the 1,000-career points mark making her just the 24th Tiger in program history to do so. She also moved into fourth on Pacific's career steals list with six tonight.

For the Gaels, four players scored in double-figures and Megan McKay had a double-double with 17 rebounds and 14 points. Sydney Raggio scored 14 and Sam Simons and Emily Codding scored 12 points.

The Gaels got going early with a 10-3 inside the first two minutes of the game that forced Tiger head coach Bradley Davis to take a timeout early in the game. His strategy stopped the run and helped the Tigers cut the lead to 13-8 and Pacific trailed by just four at the end of one quarter, 20-16.

However, the momentum stopped in the second quarter when the Tigers scored only 10 points to allow Saint Mary's to take a 37-26 lead into halftime. Higgins led the Tiger charge in the first half with 10 points and five boards to get herself rolling to the double-double.

In the third quarter, Pacific rallied back behind Li's seven points. With just over a minute to play in the quarter, she converted a layup coming down the floor off of a block by Higgins to lay in career point number 1,000. A few seconds later, she made a layup with contact to convert a three-point play to make it a nine-point lead by the Gaels through three quarters.

Saint Mary's pulled away in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers got going late and looked to make things interesting with a 10-0 run that cut the lead to 11 with just over a minute to play. However, Pacific's offense couldn't complete the comeback in the 75-62 loss.

With the regular season behind the Tigers, the team turns its attention to the West Coast Conference Championships next week in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena. Pacific is locked into playing its first game on Friday, but which time slot it will be in is yet to be determined. If Pacific is the five seed, it will play the winner of Thursday's matchup between the league's eighth and ninth placed teams at noon. If the Tigers fall to sixth with an LMU win at Gonzaga, it will play the winner of the seven-ten matchup at 2 p.m. The West Coast Conference will release a final bracket on Sunday following the completion of the West Coast Conference's regular season games on Saturday.