Westmont ends victory drought against Vanguard

For the second time in a week, No. 21 Westmont has defeated a higher ranked team. This time the victory came on the road, as the Warriors (18-5, 10-5 GSAC) defeated the Lions of No. 14 Vanguard (13-8, 9-6) by a score 64-60 in Golden State Athletic Conference girls basketball action. On Thursday, the Warrior’s knocked off No. 3 California Baptist 83-71.

The win snapped an 18-game streak by the Lions over the Warriors and was the first win by Westmont over Vanguard since the 2002-03 season.

“It feels good for all the players and coaches in our program (over the years) to finally get a win,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “It’s been frustrating to have heartbreaking games the last few two times we played, especially last year in the GSAC championship. It feels good to come out on the winning end, especially down here in their gym.

“I thought we were very aggressive and attacked,” said Moore. “We were able to get the ball inside against their zone and not just settle for shooting perimeter shots. Angel Blanco and Lisa Peterson were able to finish inside for us. We also were able to get to the free throw line.”

Westmont took its first lead of the game with 6:55 remaining in the game. With the shot clock about to expire, Larissa Hensley (4 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists) drove the lane, pulled up and put the ball through the net to give Westmont a 46-44 advantage.

The lead changed hands eight times over the next six minutes and was tied five times in that span.

With 53 seconds remaining in regulation, Westmont’s Vanessa Farias (10 points, 3 assists) completed a layup to give Westmont a 58-56 advantage. Nearly 20 seconds later, Angel Blanco (15 points, 7 rebounds) stole the ball and sank two free throws after being fouled by Vanguard’s Sarah Boyd (6 points, 10 assists). Blanco made nine of 10 free throw attempts.

Vanguard’s Molly Pfohl (18 points) whittled Westmont’s advantage back to two points on a jumper with 14 seconds left. However, Blanco nailed two more attempts from the charity stripe to restore the four-point lead (62-58) with 13 seconds remaining.

With five seconds left, Boyd connected on two free throws of her own to pull Vanguard within two points once more. However, that also returned possession of the ball back to the Warriors.

Hensley, who was quickly fouled, sealed the Warriors victory by making her only two free throws attempts of the night.

Lisa Peterson made five of seven attempts from the floor on her way to 14 points and five rebounds. Katie Kittle added 12 points and five rebounds to the Warrior cause.

The win broke a tie with Vanguard for fourth place in the conference standings. Westmont now stands one game ahead of Vanguard and one game behind third place and ninth-ranked Biola. Biola defeated The Master’s this evening in Santa Clarita by a score of 77-63. The Cougars of #4 Azusa Pacific (21-4, 13-2) won the GSAC’s first-place showdown by beating #5 California Baptist (19-6, 12-3) in Azusa by a score of 82-70.

“Our team is confident in our ability to beat anyone that we play on any given night,” said Moore. “We are going to try to keep getting better and hopefully it will be reflected the rankings and put us in a good position to make the national tournament.”