Warriors fall for first time this season

The Crimson Storm of No. 11 Southern Nazarene (Okla.) handed Westmont Women’s Basketball (5-1) its first loss of the season, outscoring the Warriors 58-54 in a game characterized by streaks. Tugce Canitez tallied 22 points and pulled down 11 boards for the Warriors while Lisa Peterson added 11 points. Westmont fell to 5-1 while Southern Nazarene improved to 4-1.

“This was a hard-fought game between two good teams,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Southern Nazarene was able to get a lead on us in the second half. Despite a really good comeback by us, it just wasn’t quite enough. Hopefully we have learned some things in this game that will make us better in March.”

Westmont struggled shooting from the outside tonight, making three of seventeen attempts from beyond the arc.

“Teams are going to continue to try to make it hard on our post players,” explained Moore. “Tonight, we weren’t able to hit the shot from the perimeter that we have been able to in our previous games. That loosen up our inside game and gives us balance out there on the court. I know our guards are very capable of doing it, but we just weren’t able to get those shots to fall.”

With the score tied at six early in the first half, Westmont produced an 8-0 run to go up 14-6. Over the next five minutes, however, Southern Nazarene outscored the Warriors 11-2 to take a 17-16 lead with 8:22 to play.

At the end of the first frame, the Crimson Storm took their largest lead of the half. With the score tied at 24, Logan Martin (13 points) nailed a three and Audra Skimbo added a layup, giving Southern Nazarene a 29-24 halftime lead.

The margin was up to seven points (38-31) with 15:31 remaining in the game when the Crimson Storm started a 10-1 run to go up by 16 (48-32) with 11:47 showing on the clock.

The two teams traded baskets to make it 50-34 midway through the second half before the Warriors put together a 20-4 run, tying the game at 54-all with 2:45 to play. Canitez accounted for nine points during the run while Peterson added six.

“This team wants to fight for everything and believes we can win every game that we play,” said Moore. “Obviously, we weren’t happy being down as much as we were, but we wanted to fight one possession at a time to try and get back in it by the end. We were able to do that. Aubrey Lincoln (4 points) was a big spark for us off the bench. The energy she brought to the floor really helped lead that turnaround. Tugce hit a lot of really hard shots as well.”

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Westmont did not score again. Southern Nazarene’s Annie Kossongo (8 points) hit a jumper and Oumoul Thiam (10 points) scored twice from the charity stripe to account for the final score. Marra Abbey led the Crimson Storm in scoring with 16.