Aleena Cook
Aleena Cook of Westmont shoots over a Menlo defender during the Warriors’ 76-36 win. Cook scored 19 points in 20 minutes of play. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

In just 20 minutes of play, sophomore forward Aleena Cook tallied 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds to help lead NAIA second-ranked Westmont Women’s Basketball to a 76-36 win over the Oaks of Menlo in a Golden State Athletic Conferene game on Saturday at Murchison Gym. 

Laila Saenz added 14 points to the Warrior (13-2, 6-1) cause, while Stefanie Berberabe notched 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The Warriors started the game on a 13-2 run with four points from Sydney Brown (9 points, 8 rebound, 3 blocks), three from Saenz and two each from Berberabe, Cook and Destiny Okonkwo (8 points, 6 rebounds). By the end of the first quarter, the Warriors had a 21-8 advantage.

Westmont held the Oaks (8-6, 3-4) to just 10 points in the quarter and entered the locker room with a 28-18 halftime advantage.

The Warriors offense starting clicking in the third quarter as they made  58.1% of their shots from the floor in the second half (18 of 31), including 57.1% from 3-point range (4 of 7). 

Westmont opened the third quarter on a 13-4 run. By the time the third quarter clock reached zeros, Westmont had doubled its 10-point halftime led to 20 points (48-28). 

In the final frame, Westmont made field goals on its first eight possessions, producing a 17-4 run to make the score 65-32.

The Warriors have not allowed an opponent more than 10 points in any of its last eight quarters of play and have not allowed more than 15 points in its last 12. Westmont ranks second in the NAIA in fewest points allowed per game at 49.93, just ahead of The Master’s at 49.94. Lyon (Ark.), whom Westmont beat 66-60 in the Round of 16 at last year’s national championship, leads the NAIA in that category at 49.27 per game.

Next week, Westmont will finish off the first round of GSAC play by traveling to Life Pacific (0-7, 0-13) for a game on Thursday and then hosting San Diego Christian (5-10, 2-5) on Saturday.