Perfect OT period boosts Warriors

Westmont’s women’s basketball team was a perfect five for five from the field in overtime to earn a 74-67 victory over Concordia in Irvine on Saturday night.

With the win, the twenty-fourth ranked Warriors improved to 14-4 overall and 6-4 in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Concordia fell to 9-6 and 4-5 in GSAC play.

“All week we have focused on playing every possession like it is a game winning possession because it could be,” said Moore. “We thought this would be a game that came down to one position, and it did. Every possession mattered, especially down the stretch.

“It was a scrappy game and a battle on the boards,” said Moore. “We did a good job on the boards in first half. They did a better job on the boards in the second half and ended up outrebounding us (51-48).

The Eagles jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game, but the Warriors responded with a 14-0 run to take a 16-10 advantage. By halftime, Concordia had tied the game at 23-all.

The score remained close throughout the second half. Two free throws by Katie Kittle (4 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) tied the game at 52-all with 4:32 to play. Over a minute later, Lisa Peterson (15 points, 3 rebounds) completed a layup to give Westmont a 54-52 advantage. The Eagles’ Nicole Fu (21 points, 10 rebounds) made one of two free throw attempts just before the three-minute mark to pull Concordia to within one point. Then with 2:24 to play, Cheyenne Wallace (5 points, 12 rebounds) evened the game at 54 by completing one of her two charity stripe attempts. Neither team scored over the remainder of regulation.

Twenty seconds into overtime, Peterson scored on two free throw attempts to put the Warriors up 56-54. Wallace cut the lead to one with a free throw before Westmont’s Angel Blanco (22 points, 10 rebounds) converted a traditional three-point play to make it a 59-55 game.

After Fu and Peterson traded jumpers at opposite ends of the floor, Fu drew the Eagles to within one point with a successful and-one play. A Blanco jumper made it a three-point game before Fu struck again, this time from beyond the arc. Blanco’s bomb tied the game (63-63) for the ninth time. It would prove to be the last.

Over the next minute and one-half, Westmont produced an 8-0 run to put the game away. Vanessa Farias (14 points, 7 rebounds) landed a three to start the run and then scored on a free-throw. Blanco hit a jumper and Kittle made two free throws to complete the run and give Westmont a 71-63 lead with 46 seconds remaining before the final buzzer.

“We got the stops we needed to and in overtime were able to get the ball inside and make some plays to get the lead and be in control of the game,” said Moore. “Concordia is playing great and played really hard. They are going to win a lot of basketball games. We had to play well in order to get a win tonight.”

The win was the fourth in a row for the Warriors and came as Westmont completed its first trip through the GSAC schedule. Halfway through, Westmont finds itself in fifth place in the GSAC standings, one game ahead of The Master’s at 5-5 and one game behind #12 Vanguard at 7-3. Sixth-ranked California Baptist sits atop the standings at 9-1 while #7 Biola and #8 Azusa Pacific are tied for second with conference marks of 8-2.

The Warriors will start the journey through the second half of the GSAC schedule when they host Biola on Tuesday at Murchison Gymnasium. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.