The first day of action at the 2010 Big West Women's Basketball Tournament saw #5 UC Santa Barbara and #6 Cal State Fullerton advance to the quarterfinal round to be held tomorrow. The tournament action is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., for the 10th consecutive season.
NO. 5 UC SANTA BARBARA 82, NO. 8 PACIFIC 54
UC Santa Barbara used an 18-0 first-half run to take early control as it went on to defeat Pacific, 82-54, Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Big West Women’s Basketball Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Meagan Williams led the No. 5 Gauchos with 24 points, and Mekia Valentine nearly posted a triple-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks.
Emilie Johnson was the third Gaucho in double figures with 12 points to go along with a game-high five steals. Erica McKenize led the No. 8 Tigers with 13 points. Jasmine Dana and Jordan Rogers each finished with 12. Rogers led Pacific with eight rebounds.
UCSB (14-16) trailed 7-6 before putting together an 18-0 run that covered an eight-minute stretch. A layup by Ariana Gnekow at the 7:58 mark capped off the blitz and gave the Gauchos a 24-7 lead. Pacific (6-23) would get no closer than 14 the rest of the half and trailed 40-25 at the half.
Pacific opened the second half with a bucket by Emma Head, but UC Santa Barbara countered with an 8-0 run. The Gauchos went on a 12-0 run a couple of minutes later to extend their lead to 62-34 with 12:38 remaining. UCSB’s lead would not go under 19 the rest of the game, and its largest advantage was 82-52 with under a minute to play.
Williams scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half and finished 12-for-15 from the field. Valentine flirted with a triple-double in the first half alone as she had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks by the break.
UCSB shot 48 percent for the game and held Pacific to just under 32 percent. The Gauchos held a 44-35 edge in rebounding and forced the Tigers into 21 turnovers.
With the win, UCSB advances to play No. 4 Long Beach State in one Thursday's quarterfinal games.
NO. 6 CAL STATE FULLERTON 89, No. 7 UC IRVINE 76
Lindsey Grove scored 26 points and Jasmine Scott had a double-double to lead Cal State Fullerton past UC Irvine, 89-76, Thursday in the first round of the Big West Women’s Basketball Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Grove’s effort offset a 41-point performance by UCI’s Mikah Maly-Karros. The No. 6 Titans held a double-digit lead for most of the game and didn’t allow the No. 7 Anteaters to get closer than seven in the second half.
CSF (15-16) had three players finish in double-figures. Megan Richardson tallied 17 points, and Scott tossed in 16 to go along with 11 rebounds. The Titans scored 32 points from the free throw line and finished 32-for-38. Grove was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line, and Richardson shot 8-for-8. In addition, Scott made all six of her attempts from the line.
Cal State Fullerton used a 10-0 run in the first half to create initial separation. The blitz started with a Grove three-pointer and ended with a pair of free throws by Grove. When it was finished, the Titans led 23-12 with 11:02 left in the first half.
UCI (9-21) countered with a 5-0 run and was within six before Cal State Fullerton went on a 9-2 run. That made it 32-19 at the 7:08 mark.The Titans led by as many as 14 before closing the half with a 45-35 lead.
Cal State Fullerton had its largest lead of the game with 13:12 to go when Grove made two free throws to make it 64-48.The Anteaters chipped away with a 14-6 run and closed within 70-62 with 8:18 to go. They would later get as close as 77-70 with under four minutes to play, but the Titans closed the game on a 12-6 run.
Maly-Karros scored 18 points in the first half and 23 more in the second. She also finished with nine rebounds. Keyonna Johnson scored 17 for the Anteaters as her and Maly-Karros accounted for 58 of the team’s 76 points. The 41 points tied the UCI single-game record set in the 1983-84 season by Cheri Graham.
Cal State Fullerton shot 43 percent and held UC Irvine to 37 percent. The Titans controlled the boards, 50-36.
With the win, Cal State Fullerton advances to play No. 3 UC Riverside in Thursday's quarterfinals.