Pacific bows out of WNIT at Arizona

Pacific bows out of WNIT at Arizona

After a 19-13 season and its first birth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament since 2015, Pacific women's basketball season came to an end on Sunday afternoon with a 64-84 to Arizona and the McKeon Center.

Pacific hung with the Wildcats for the majority of the game, and had the lead down to as few as three points halfway through the third quarter, but a late scoring drought for the Tigers set up a lengthy scoring run for Arizona that put the WNIT Second Round contest out of reach.

Sophomore guard Valerie Higgins led the Tigers with her 14th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. She also had three assists, a block and a steal. Junior Jessica Blakeslee got the Tigers going early with a couple of big three-pointers in the first quarter. She finished the game with 13 points.

For the Wildcats, they were led by one of the nation's top scorers, Aari McDonald, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Two more Wildcats scored in double figures.

GAME SUMMARY

First Quarter

  • Arizona led 25-12 after the first quarter.
  • The Wildcats shot 58.8% in the quarter.
  • McDonald led all players with 10 points in the opening quarter. Blakeslee led the Tigers with six points.
  • Higgins had four points and five rebounds in the quarter to get herself going towards a double-double. She had two assists as well.

Second Quarter

  • Pacific locked down the Wildcats on defense by allowing just 10 points in the second quarter. The Tigers outscored Arizona 17-10 and trailed by six heading to the break.
  • Blakeslee led all players in the quarter with seven points. Higgins was not far behind with five.
  • Senior guard Ameela Li had three assists in the quarter.
  • Pacific held Arizona to 30% shooting clip and allowed only one made three-pointer.
  • Pacific opened the quarter on a 7-2 run to cut into the lead.

Third Quarter

  • Arizona outscored the Tigers 13-11 in the quarter and held an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
  • Arizona's Cate Reese led all players with six points. McDonald had five and Higgins led the Tigers with four.
  • McDonald also had five rebounds in the quarter.
  • Brooklyn McDavid pulled down four rebounds in the quarter.
  • Both teams shot under 35% in the quarter.
  • At the 7:58 mark, the Tigers got going on a 5-0 run that cut the lead down to three points with 5:44 to play in the quarter.
  • At the 2:58 mark, McDavid made a jumper that cut Arizona's lead back down from five-points. However, it was the last bucket Pacific would score for a long period that let Arizona pull away.
  • Arizona led 48-40 at the end of the quarter.

Fourth quarter

  • Arizona outscored Pacific 16-8 in the quarter. Pacific made just 18% of its shots.
  • Reese and Higgins tied to lead all players with six points.
  • Pacific's scoring drought continued until the 3:12 mark of the fourth. Through the drought, Arizona went on a 15-0 run that put the contest out of reach.

Notables

  • Valerie Higgins recorded her 14th double-double of the season and her career. It moved her to a tie for 10th on Pacific's all-time list with Kendall Rodriguez.
  • Higgins' 19  points moved her to 550 for the season; the second most that a Tiger has ever scored in a single-season.
  • Pacific's appearance in the WNIT Second Round was only its third ever. In 2013, the Tigers played in and won a second-round game against Washington. In 2012, the Tigers lost to San Diego in the second round.