Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific women's basketball team opened conference play with a 78-64 win over UC Davis Saturday as the Tigers shot 53 percent and handed out 21 assists on 29 field goals. Gena Johnson scored a season-high 18 points to go with six assists, while Kendall Rodriguez added 17 points and seven assists. The beneficiary of passes from Johnson and Rodriguez was Kendall Kenyon, who finished with a team-high 19 points on nine-of-11 shooting.
Erica McKenzie chipped in six points and five assists, while Ashley Wakefield added eight points and a pair of dimes. Sam Pettinger tallied six points on two-of-three shooting with two three-pointers.
The Tigers improve to 11-2 on the year, 1-0 in the Big West, and remain unbeaten at home at 7-0. UC Davis falls to 5-7 on the year, 0-1 in the BWC. The Aggies were led by Molly Greubel, who scored 18 points off the UC Davis bench. Sydnee Fipps added 13 points while Celia Marfone chipped in 11.
"I thought it was a classic Davis-Pacific game," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "Even when we got our lead, I never thought they were going to fold. And they didn't. They deserve a lot of credit for that. They gave us all that we could handle."
"I thought we did a nice job with our presses and giving them fits in the full court. We got some turnovers. I thought we made the extra pass, we passed the ball very well. I thought we overpassed sometimes and that accounted for some of our turnovers. But to get a win is always the goal."
Pacific outscored UC Davis 42-24 in the paint, and forced 23 turnovers. The Tigers built a 20 point lead, but UC Davis hung around by forcing 15 second-half turnovers as the Tigers finished with 21 miscues. Pacific out-rebounded the Aggies 34-36 for the game, and held UC Davis to eight offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points.
The Tigers 52.7 percent shooting day (29-of-55) was their best shooting percentage of the season. Davis connected at a 43.1 percent clip for the game, but the Tigers held the Aggies to 36 percent in the second half.
Pacific forced four turnovers on UC Davis' first seven possessions to build an 11-6 lead.
Davis answered with an 6-2 run, highlighted by a Molly Greubel three-pointer before McKenzie hit a three-pointer to restore a four-point edge.
Sam Pettinger knocked down back-to-back three's as the Tigers led 22-16. A jumper by Rodriguez gave Pacific an eight-point edge, but Davis responded with a long Greubel two.
Gena Johnson hit a three and drove the lane for a bucket as the Tigers closed the half with a 7-0 run to take a 40-27 lead into halftime.
Johnson led all players with 11 points at the break, while Rodriguez added eight and Kenyon seven.
Pacific shot 50 percent in the first half, but the Aggies connected at a 52 percent clip. However, the 14 turnovers forced by the Tigers limited Davis to just 23 first-half shots.
The Tigers reeled off a 9-2 run out of halftime on buckets. Wakefield and Johnson scored in transition and McKenzie added a three-pointer for a 49-29 lead.
UC Davis responded with an 8-0 run as Sydnee Fipps and Gerubel hit three-pointers.
Brianna Johnson and Gena Johnson converted lay-ups, but Fipps converted an and-one to cut the Tigers lead to 12 at 53-41 with 13:25 to go.
Cortney French rattled home a three for UC Davis as the Tigers advantage dwindled to seven.
Gena Johnson struck again from the paint, and Rodriguez hit a three as the Tigers led by a dozen, 60-48, with 7:57 remaining.
Blair Shinoda connected on a deep three to pull Davis within seven, at 67-60, before Kenyon answered with a bucket inside off the assist from Rodriguez.
Rodriguez found Kenyon underneath as the Tigers pushed the margin back up to 10, at 72-62, with 2:35 left. The Tigers closed out the game with another Kenyon lay-ups and four Rodriguez free throws.
Gena Johnson has scored in double-figures in seven-straight games.
The Tigers take on UC Santa Barbara Thursday at 7 p.m., and Cal Poly Saturday at 4 p.m. in Pacific's first road conference weekend of the season.
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