Tigers Hit The Road For Final Time In Big West Play
Stockton, Calif. - The Tigers' final road trip of the regular season opens at Big West leader Cal State Northridge as the Pacific women's basketball team looks for its fifth win in a row on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Pacific (14-9 overall, 7-4 Big West) sits a game back of the Matadors in the conference standings after winning four in a row. Since the Tigers' 72-68 loss to the Matadors, Pacific has held opponents under 65 points in five of the last six games, including a pair of contests in which the Tigers didn't allow 50 points.
"We have great internal leadership, and our players want to get better," said Roberts. "Our coaching staff keeps challenging them to get better both offensively and defensively, and it's a credit to the players that they are receptive to improvement and have the desire to keep getting better."
Freshman Kendall Kenyon earned Big West Player of the Week honors for her stellar performances against both UC Riverside and UC Irvine last weekend. The Stockton native averaged 20 points over the weekend and went for a career-high 22 points against UC Irvine. She also averaged nine rebounds, tying her career high with 11 boards against UC Riverside.
As the race for the Big West regular season title hits the home stretch, the Tigers look to avenge a four-point home loss to Northridge on Jan. 14, as the Matadors (14-10, 8-3 BWC) became one of two teams to pick up a road win in the Spanos Center this season.
"Northridge has had a great season this year," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "We did not finish against them the last time we played. I do think we have improved in the last month since then, and I know both teams will be ready to play."
That game saw junior guard Ericka McKenzie explode for 25 points, hitting 10-of-18 shots, including five from long range. Kenyon notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guard Gena Johnson had 12 points and nine boards.
The Matadors saw their four-game win streak snapped Saturday against Long Beach State.
On Saturday, the Tigers will go for a season-sweep of Long Beach (10-14, 5-6 BWC). On Jan. 12, Pacific posted its biggest win over Long Beach in the all-time series, throttling the 49ers 93-56.
"We know it's going to be a very different game than our first meeting," Roberts noted. "We know they are capable of beating anybody, and they are extremely good on their home floor."
The last time versus Long Beach State, Kenyon went off for a then-career-high 18 points, draining all six of her free throw attempts. McKenzie and junior AJ Smith added 12 points apiece while freshman guard Kristina Johnson had a well-rounded game with seven points, six assists, and five rebounds.
The 49ers defeated Cal State Northridge in double-overtime last weekend, ending a three-game skid, and have won all but one of their home conference games this year.