Kittle keeps it easy for Warriors in home opener

Junior Katie Kittle made seven of nine attempts from the floor, including four of six from beyond the arc to help lead Westmont Women’s Basketball (3-0) to an 87-55 win over Corban (0-1) of Oregon in the Warriors’ home opener. Kittle, who was also five for six from the free throw line, scored 23 points.

“When Katie gets hot, she is hot,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “She was draining threes from all over the place. Corban was sagging in and trying to take away our post game. I thought our posts did a great job of finding our open shooters and our shooters shot with confidence when they got the ball.

“We definitely feel like we are going to play inside-out,” said Moore of her teams offensive style. “People are going to have to stop our post game, and if they do, then we have great perimeter shooters to match that.”

The Warriors made 12 of 24 attempts from three-point range and converted 13 of 16 field goal attempts.

“Corban had a tough travel situation today and got here without a lot of time to prepare for the game,” noted Moore. “But they are a good team. They have good players and are well coached. They happened to catch us on our home opener. Our team was very ready and played well together and shot the ball very well tonight. When we got things going, it was hard to get that momentum stopped.

“For us, it is a great sign that we could build on our momentum. It started with our defense and forcing 31 turnovers. Our number one key coming into this game was our ball pressure and our wing denials and trying to take them out of their offense. I was very pleased with that effort tonight. It was also a total team effort. We have been a lot more focused on our defense and our rebounding. We won the boards by 11 and everyone who played for us had at least one rebound.”

Leading the Warriors’ defensive effort was sophomore guard Larissa Hensely who tallied five steals.

“Laura’s defense from the tip-off was great for us with deflections and steals,” said Moore. “This is the second game in a row she has brought a great defensive effort. Offensively, she played with aggression and confidence. She set the tone for us.”

Hensley and junior forward Lisa Peterson each made five of seven field goal attempts with Hensley tallying 13 points and Peterson 10 points. Peterson also had six rebounds for the Warriors. Sophomore guard Vanessa Farias also reached double figures with 10 points.

Corban was led by Katie Steigleman whose 23 points put her over the career 1,000 point mark. One game into her junior year, Steigleman has scored a total of 1,020 points. No other Corban player reached double figures.

The Warriors will play again tomorrow night as they host Bethany (0-4) in a six o’clock game at Murchison Gymnasium.