WBK: Warriors clinch second straight GSAC title

With an 85-55 Golden State Athletic Conference defeat of Concordia (6-20, 4-9) on Tuesday evening in Irvine, #4 Westmont Women’s Basketball (23-3, 13-0) has secured sole possession of the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season championship for the second year in a row.

Senior guard Esther Lee made eight of 10 shots from the floor, including three of five from three-point range, to tally 19 points. She also pulled down four rebounds.

Senior forward Tugce Canitez added 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists to the Warriors’ totals while Kelsie Sampson notched 14 points and seven rebounds. Celina Gougis contributed another nine points and seven rebounds.

Up 17-16 with 10:38 remaining in the first half, Westmont went on a 16-3 run to take control of the game. At halftime, Westmont led 44-30. In the first five minutes of the second period, the Warriors produced a 24-4 run to establish a 26-point advantage.

The Warriors will conclude the regular season on Saturday with a road game against Biola (14-15, 4-9). With a win, the Warriors will become the seventh team in GSAC women’s basketball history to go undefeated in conference, and the first since the 2006-07 season.

In other GSAC games, #7 Vanguard (20-3, 10-3) fell at #11 The Master’s (24-4, 9-3) by a score of 76-65. As a result, Vanguard holds a one-game lead over The Master’s for second place in the GSAC standings. San Diego Christian (16-13, 8-5), which is in fourth place in the standings, defeated Hope International (12-16, 4-9) by a 66-53 margin. Hope International is tied for fifth place with both Concordia and Biola (14-15, 4-9). Biola defeated Arizona Christian (4-21, 0-13) by a score of 79-55.

Westmont will be the number one seed in next week’s Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament and as such will have a bye in both the first and second rounds. Westmont will open the playoffs on Friday, March 1 by hosting an opponent to be determined at Murchison Gymnasium.

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