Canitez scores 25 as Westmont upsets Pepperdine

Tugce Canitez scored 25 points in her season debut to lead Westmont’s women’s basketball team to a 67-60 victory over Pepperdine in a season-opening exhibition.

Canitez, the returning NAIA Player of the Year, added 18 rebounds and three assists.

Esther Lee tallied 19 to support the Warriors’ winning effort against the NCAA school. Lee and Canitez accounted for nearly 60 percent of the Warriors’ field goal attempts.

Bria Richardson’s 22 points on 10-of-20 shooting led Pepperdine.

Santa Barbara High graduate Tess Emerson started for the Waves and collected four points and three rebounds in 19 minutes.

Westmont trailed by eight points with 15:39 left in the second half but finished strong and led by as many as 11 late in the game.

Westmont begins the season as the No. 7 team in the NAIA. The Warriors host Bethesda on Friday night in their regular-season opener.