Canitez double-double keeps Warriors out front

Tugce Canitez drained 29 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as No. 6 Westmont Women’s Basketball extended its record to 23-2 with a 73-69 Golden State Athletic Conference win over the Royals of Hope International (4-22, 1-13 GSAC) on Saturday night in Fullerton.

Canitez tallied a double-double in the first half by scoring 16 points and collecting 11 rebounds. For the game, Canitez was 9 of 15 from the field, including one of two from three point range, and ten of ten from the free throw line.

With the score tied at 19-all and 6:58 showing on the first-half clock, the Warriors produced a 17-5 run before halftime to take control of the game. The Warriors started out the second half on a 10-2 run, with Canitez responsible for nine of the Warriors ten points.

With 5:18 remaining in the game and the Warriors leading 69-49, Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore pulled the last of her starters from the game to give her reserves some playing time. Over the final three and one-half minutes, the Royals took advantage of the situation and put together a 20-4 run to pull within four by the end of the game.

Kelsie Sampson added eight points and five rebounds while Katie Kittle had eight points, three rebounds and three steals. In fourteen minutes of play, Lauren Rock tallied five steals and four points. As a team, the Warriors shot just 32.9 percent from the floor. Westmont dominated the boards, outrebounding the Royals 55-34 and pulling down 21 rebounds from the offensive glass.

Lauren Salazar led the Royals with 21 points while Morgan Rentie had 17 and Brittany Bauman added 16. Hope International made 41.0 percent of their field goal attempts.

In other Golden State Athletic Conference action, #12 Vanguard (17-5, 11-3) posted a 77-65 win over the visiting Mustangs of The Master’s (11-15, 4-10). Thirteenth ranked Azusa Pacific (18-6, 11-3) recorded a 74-61 road win over Concordia (7-14, 4-10). As a result, Westmont maintains its two-game lead over Azusa Pacific and Vanguard in the GSAC standings with four games remaining in the regular season.

San Diego Christian (18-8, 7-7) was also victorious, defeating host Fresno Pacific (13-13, 5-9) by a score of 68-65. Biola (15-9, 7-7) earned a 64-55 win over visiting Point Loma Nazarene (16-10, 7-7), creating a three-way tie for fourth place between San Diego Christian, Point Loma Nazarene and Biola.

Tuesday night, the Warriors will hit the road again to take on The Master’s in Santa Clarita. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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