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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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College Basketball

Balanced Attack Leads Westmont Women in GSAC Opener

Westmont Women's Basketball utilized a balanced offense and stingy defense to hand No. 22 Arizona Christian a 68-61 loss in the first Golden State Athletic Conference game of the season in Phoenix on Thursday.

Westmont (5-2, 1-0 GSAC) had four players score in double figures. Junior guard Maud Ranger tallied 16 points while going four of nine from three-point range. Sophomore guard Lauren Tsuneishi knocked down four of eight attempts from beyond the arc and contributed 14 points.

"Lauren was shooting consistently all game," noted Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. "In the second half, we were ready and had our feet set. We were seven for 11 from three-point range. Maud stepped up and hit four threes in the second half."

Westmont's inside game was led by Kaitlin Larson who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sydney Brown notched 10 points and eight rebounds. 

"Kaitlin had a great inside presence for us and helped us get extra possessions with offensive rebounds," said Moore.

The game remained close through the first three quarters with neither team holding more than a five point advantage. At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 12. The Firestorm (5-4, 0-1) took a 28-27 lead into the locker room at halftime and extended their advantage to 48-46 at the end of the third quarter.

With 4:23 to play in final frame, Gabriella Stoll drained a shot from long distance to give Westmont a 58-55 advantage.

"Gabby's three was probably the offensive play of the game," said Moore. "She was ready to knock it down and it put us more in control of the game at a really critical point."

Iyree Jarrett pilfered the ball on Arizona Christian's next two possessions, but the Warriors were unable to turn the thievery into points. With 2:59 remaining, the Firestorm cut the Warriors' lead to just one (58-57) with a pair of free throws by Toni Davis. 

Ranger responded by draining her fourth three of the game with 2:31 showing on the clock, giving the Warriors a 61-57 lead. Jac Moody drew the Firestorm within two points by hitting a jumper in the paint. Jarrett responded in kind to put Westmont in front 63-59 with 1:46 to go.

After keeping the Firestorm from scoring on their next possession, Westmont took a 65-59 lead with 50 seconds left, courtesy of a layup by Brown. A steal by Larson gave the Warriors the ball and ultimately resulted in a pair of free throws by Jarrett with 25 seconds left. Larson added one more free throw to give Westmont its largest lead of the night 68-59 with nine second to play.

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