Westmont women advance to NAIA quarterfinals

Katie Kittle scored 19 points to lead four Westmont players in double figures, and the Warriors held St. Xavier to 25 percent shooting to post a 70-56 win in a second round game Friday at the NAIA Women’s National Basketball Tournament in Frankfort, Ky.

The No. 1-seeded Warriors (31-3) advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals. They’ll play No. 2 seed Lubbock Christian (27-5) of Texas at 1 p.m. PDT. Lubbock Christian visited Murchison Gymnasium on Nov. 19 and was handed a 76-71 defeat by the Warriors.

Westmont never trailed in Friday’s game and led by as many a 18 points in the second half.

With St. Xavier concentrating on Westmont’s leading scorer Tugce Canitez, Kittle stepped up and knocked down 8 of 14 shots, including two 3-pointers.

“Katie Kittle came out as a senior and established the tone of the game right from the start,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Yesterday, Tugce (Canitez) did it. Today, Katie set the tone of how aggressive and confident we were going to be. Her confidence spread to everybody out there on the court.”

Canitez joined Aubrey Lincoln and Lisa Peterson with 13 points. She was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor.

The Warriors controlled the boards, outrebounding St. Xavier 49-38.

Marissa Young scored 19 points and Morgan Stuut had 15 for St. Xavier (24-9).