Four Warriors scored in double figures as No. 6 Westmont Women’s Basketball picked up a 66-56 Golden State Athletic Conference win over the Mustangs of The Master’s College (11-16, 4-11 GSAC) in Santa Clarita.
Junior forward Tugce Canitez led all scorers with 17 points and 9 rebounds while senior post player Lisa Peterson added 13 points and four rebounds. Yesterday, Canitez was named the GSAC Player of the Week for the third time this season.
Junior guard Larissa Hensley, who made her first start of the season, posted 10 points and eight rebounds to go with four steals and two assists. Kelsey Sampson added another 10 points and three rebounds in just 12 minutes of play.
The first half of the game remained close with neither team having more than a six point advantage. At the half, Westmont held a 31-30 lead.
After the Mustang’s scored on Lena Rivera’s (9 points, 6 rebounds) jumper to start the second half, the Warriors scored the next six points on a layup by Hensley and two jumpers by Canitez. However, the Mustangs put together an 8-0 run to take a 40-37 advantage with 16:46 left on the clock.
Lisa Peterson put an end to The Master’s run with a jumper before Rivera scored again to make it 44-41. Then it was the Warriors turn for an 8-0 run on layups by Peterson and Hensley, a jumper by Sampson and a layup by Rock. That gave the Warriors a 49-44 lead with just under 12 minutes to play.
A little over four minutes later, Katie Kittle laid the ball in the basket to give Westmont a nine-point advantage (56-47). The Mustangs rallied, pulling to within two points (58-56) on a three-pointer by Zoe Scott with 4:28 to go. However, those three points proved to be the last the Mustangs would score while the Warriors made eight of 10 free throws down the stretch to account for the final score.
With three games remaining in the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season, Westmont holds a two-game lead over Azusa Pacific and Vanguard. Since Westmont also holds the tie-breaker over both of those teams, they need just one win in the final three games to claim one of GSAC’s two automatic berths into the NAIA National Championship. Two wins gives the Warriors a regular season championship outright.
On Saturday, Westmont will welcome Concordia to Murchison Gymnasium then on Tuesday, February 21, the Warriors will host their final home game of the regular season, taking on Fresno Pacific. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m.