Pacific women's basketball's season continues after it cruised to a 76-60 victory over Santa Clara in the University Credit Union West Coast Conference Championships over Santa Clara.
Pacific went on to win by 16, but the game was far closer than the scoreline showed. The Tigers trailed by as much as six at one point and roared back behind a stout defensive effort in which the team allowed only two made baskets in Santa Clara's final eight attempts.
For the Tigers, sophomore Valerie Higgins continued to be a force with her third-straight double-double. She had 18 points and 14 rebounds as well as four steals, three assists and two blocks. Sophomore forward Brooklyn McDavid had 16 points and senior guard Ameela Li had 11.
Freshman guard Kaylin Randhawa had an outstanding second half for the Tigers that helped propel the team to the win. She finished with nine points, three rebounds and two assists.
For the Broncos, four players scored in double figures with Lauren Yearwood leading the way, she had 14 points. Ashlyn Herlihy had 11 and Tia Hay and Lindsey VanAllen both had 10.
Pacific led 18-11 through the first quarter but didn't score a point for the first 5 minutes and 15 seconds of the second quarter to let the Broncos take the lead 19-18. Pacific would eventually get it going in the quarter behind Higgins' seven-points, but Santa Clara took a 35-33 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, the two teams came out and traded blows. With 5:14 to play in the third quarter, Santa Clara took its biggest lead of the night 42-36 when VanAllen made a two-pointer.
A little under a minute later, Bradley Davis called a timeout and inspired words from himself as well as junior Jessica Blakeslee lit a fire in the Tigers.
Following the timeout, Pacific turned it on and powered back into the lead and pulled away. Pacific led 54-48 heading into the fourth quarter after Randhawa came in clutch when she pulled down and offensive rebound and put the shot right back up in one motion to beat the third-quarter buzzer.
She would score four more points in the final quarter while Li had seven and Higgins had five to put the game away. Pacific's defense held the Broncos to just 22% from the field in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers win in the WCC Tournament's second round.
For the Tigers' efforts, they get a date with third-seeded Pepperdine and the League's MVP, Yasmine Robinson-Bacote at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the WCC Championships. A win for the Tigers in the game sets up a match with second-seeded BYU in the semifinals on Monday.
The win made it Pacific second-straight year with at least one win at the West Coast Conference Championships.