Tugce Canitez recorded the second triple-double in Westmont Women’s Basketball history as the seventh-ranked Warriors defeated Carroll (Mont.) in a 56-55 nail-biter. Canitez recorded 20 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
“Tugce was awesome,” summed up Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Tugce was doing everything out there. The great thing is was that people around her stepped up and made shots, which is how she was able to get her assists. She was creating the opportunities and they were finishing.”
Among those benefitting from Canitez’ passes was Kelsie Sampson who recorded her second double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Westmont’s only other triple-double was recorded on November 4, 2006 when Amber Stevens tallied 13 points, 10 assists and 10 steals against Robert Morris (Ill.).
Despite the numbers by Canitez and Sampson, the game was a defensive struggle between the two teams.
“It was a battle,” said Moore. “We played outstanding defense in the first half, holding them to 16 points.”
The second half, which the Warriors began with a 24-16 advantage, proved to be a different story.
“We had to weather the storm in the second half,” said Moore. “In one stretch, they made seven of eight three-point shots. They have a great crowd, a great home court advantage. The crowd was going nuts and we lost our lead. However, we stayed confident and true to our game plan. We didn’t get flustered even in an environment where they had tons of fans. They had this place rockin’ when they hit all those threes.
“Carroll had gained all the momentum. Then with about six minutes left, Larissa (Hensley) hit a huge three off of one of Tugce’s passes. That was a momentum breaker. Larissa was two for two from the three-point line, and 3-4 from the field. She played all 40 minutes and had eight points.”
Down 55-54 with less than two minutes to play, the Warriors found a way to score and then secured the win with their defense.
“Tugce got doubled but was able to pass it to Kelsie who hit the game winner,” reported Moore. “That put us up by one. We got the ball back and came down the court and missed a shot. We got an offensive rebound but not the put-back.
“Carroll got the ball and had a chance to win the game. They called a time out with 13 seconds left. When play resumed, they turned a corner and put up a floater that went to the far side of the rim. We gave up an o-board and they put the ball up again but missed. There was a mad scramble for the ball and time ran out.”
The Warriors were not without their own fans in Helena to enjoy the victory.
“Erin Beadle’s Montana family was here,” said Moore. “The family Tugce stayed with in Idaho (when a student at North Idaho C.C.) surprised her and was here. Karlie Storkson’s family came over from Washington. We had about 30 Westmont fans so it was a great environment.”
The Warriors will now travel to the Bay Area for two games early next week. On Tuesday, Westmont will play at Cal State Maritime in Vallejo. Then on Wednesday, the Warriors will play at Cal State East Bay.