Westmont scorches nets in upset of Master’s

It was a team effort tonight in Santa Clarita as the Westmont women picked up a 77-64 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over No. 23 The Master’s on Tuesday night.

The Warriors shot 53.6 percent from the floor (30 of 56) and made 83.3 percent from the free throw line (15 of 18).

“We were determined to get the ball inside and we did a good job of executing and getting our posts the ball,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Also, we were committed to rebounding a lot better than we did against Azusa where we were taught a lesson. The combination of our rebounding and our inside game helped us get that great field goal percentage.”

Four Warriors scored in double-digits, led by Katie Kittle who tallied 23 points, six rebounds and three assists. Angel Blanco scored 15 points and collected six rebounds while Elizabeth Evancoe added 13 points. Lisa Peterson nearly recorded a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Erin Beadle, starting in place of the injured Larissa Hensley, had eight assists for the Warriors to go with four points.

“I have nothing but respect for The Master’s team,” said Moore. “They are playing incredibly well. They play together and have a great spirit about them. For us to go on the road and beat them says a lot about my player’s resolve tonight. They played their hearts out and that is what it took to beat a really good team on the road.”

The Warriors (11-4, 3-4 GSAC) started the game off with an 8-0 run and led by 13 (37-24) at halftime. The Master’s (12-4, 5-2), which entered the game tied for first in the GSAC standings, came all the way back and briefly took a three-point lead with a three-pointer by Zoe Scott and a jumper by Theresa Brown. That gave the Mustangs a 46-43 lead with 9:54 to play.

Westmont responded to the challenge with a 9-0 run sparked by a three-pointer by Kittle. That made the score 52-46 with 6:56 remaining on the game clock. However, the Mustangs’ Ella Joines nailed back-to-back threes to tie the game at 52-all with 6:12 remaining.

With 5:47, Blanco scored a layup beginning a stretch in which Westmont scored on 13 of its next 14 possessions, including eight of nine successful field goal attempts. By the end of the game, the Warriors had outpaced the Mustangs by 13 points.

“One of the things I was most pleased with was that when we had lost momentum and The Master’s had taken a lead, we were able to fight back and make big plays. Time after time Katie Kittle stepped up and made big plays, Angel Blanco made big plays, Lisa Peterson made big plays, Elizabeth Evancoe hit big shots and Erin Beadle made a huge jumper. It was a team effort. I saw from every single person a resolve to compete and come out of here having played our hardest and having played together.”

Tuesday’s game was played with heavy hearts by both teams in the aftermath of the accidental death of a GSAC women’s basketball player. Early Sunday morning, Paige Armstrong-Maltos from Concordia was killed in an automobile accident as she traveled back to the Irvine campus from San Diego with four others. The freshman, who was red-shirting this season with the Eagles, was a former high school teammate of Westmont’s Larissa Hensley.

“The way we played tonight was also a way we could honor the life of Paige who no longer has that opportunity,” said Moore. “Our hearts and minds tonight are with Concordia and their women’s basketball family and with Paige and her family.”