Pacific women's basketball put up a fight in the quarterfinals of the University Credit Union West Coast Conference Championships on Saturday and erased a 15-point lead and even led with two minutes to play, but fell short, 87-84.
Pepperdine built a cushion heading into the half behind 15 first-half points from the WCC's Most Valuable Player, Yasmine Robinson Bacote and Barbara Sitanggan's 11 points helped build a 49-38 lead heading into the break.
Instead of conceding defeat, Pacific did the opposite a clawed back in the second half behind 28 points in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth quarter. Five Tigers scored in double figures including sophomore forward Brooklyn McDavid, who had 22 points. Sophomore guard Valerie Higgins had 19 points and went 9-11 from the free throw line. Her nine made free throws gave her 150 on the season, which is a new Pacific record. Senior Ameela Li, junior Jessica Blakeslee and sophomore Lianna Tillman all had 11 points.
Pacific clawed back from the start of the second half using a 12-1 run to make the score 55-53 with 4:14 to play in the third quarter. Pepperdine rallied back to make it a 10-point lead again at the 1:14 mark of the third quarter, but Pacific erased the lead again in the fourth quarter and tied the game a total of eight times before finally taking an 85-83 lead with 2:02 to play.
Seconds later, Robinson-Bacote tied the game back up at 85 and two possessions later, the Waves took the lead for the final time when Sitanggan drained a layup with 1:02 to play.
Higgins had a chance to tie the game after drawing a shooting foul, but made one of her two tries to cut the lead to one. Pepperdine would make a two-pointer with 25 seconds to play to give the Tigers the last shot.
Pacific had two chances to tie the game when Li and Higgins both put up three-point tries, but neither would fall.
Pacific's loss ends its run in the West Coast Conference Championships in the quarterfinals after a win yesterday over Santa Clara. This is the third-straight year that Pacific has won at least one game at the WCC Championships.
The 19-win Tigers may not be done playing yet. A potential berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament could be on the table for the Tigers. Pacific will know its fate next Sunday, March 17 when the 64-team field of the WNIT is revealed.
- Pepperdine outscored the Tigers 28-20 in the opening quarter.
- Both teams shot the ball well in the first quarter. Pacific shot 50%, but Pepperdine was better with a 69% clip.
- Pepperdine's Barbara Sittangan scored eight points to lead her team. Pacific's Brooklyn McDavid shot 4-6 from the field for eight points as well.
- Pacific's Ameela Li has three assists to lead all players.
- Valerie Higgins had six points for the Tigers in the quarter.
- Pepperdine outscored the Tigers 21-18 in the quarter.
- Yasmine Robinson-Bacote took over in the quarter for Pepperdine scoring 10 points with three rebounds.
- Sitanggan had three points and three assists.
- McDavid led the Tigers with four points.
- Li had another three assists in the quarter.
- Pacific rallied back with a big third quarter in which they outscored the Waves 28-20.
- McDavid led the charge with six points. Higgins and Blakeslee both had five points.
- Robinson-Bacote led all players with seven points.
- Sophomore Lianna Tillman came off the bench and scored four points in five minutes.
- McDavid also pulled down three rebounds in the quarter.
- Pepperdine and Pacific tied, 18-18 in the decisive quarter.
- Higgins and Pepperdine's Deezha Battle both had five points to lead all players.
- Li and McDavid both had four points for the Tigers.
- At the 7:29 mark of the quarter, Higgins made two free throws to set the new single-season record with 149. She made one more in the game for her 150th.