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Case’s Points Not Enough for Warriors

Westmont unable to hold 14-point first-half lead, fall to Point Loma, 62-55.

Despite a 14-point first-half lead Saturday, Westmont’s women’s basketball team lost a Golden State Athletic Conference game to No. 7 Point Loma Nazarene, 62-55. Sophomore guard Jessica Case scored 20 points on seven-of-15 shooting from the floor, the second highest total of her career.

Down 6-5 early in the game, Westmont (11-4, 3-4) put together a 19-4 run to take a 24-10 advantage with 7:25 to play in the first half. Eight different Warriors contributed to the run, with no player scoring more than three points. But Point Loma (12-2, 6-1) responded with a 17-6 run to close out the half and pull within three points (30-27) at the intermission.

A three-point basket by Case and two free throws by senior forward Stephanie Anderson (five points, three rebounds) allowed the Warriors to post a 35-27 lead one minute and 20 seconds into the second half. But the Sea Lions whittled away at the lead, pulling within two points (41-39) on Liah Ectors’ (10
points, five rebounds) layup with 16:24 to play.

Anderson nailed a field goal from beyond the arc to put Westmont up by five (44-39) with 15:42 on the second-half clock. Those would prove to be the last points the Warriors would score for nearly six minutes as Point Loma went on a 10-0 run to take a 49-44 advantage.

A jumper by Case, a free throw by junior forward Ali Mooty (three points, eight rebounds) and a layup by freshman Elizabeth Evancoe tied the game at 49 at the 8-minute mark. Point Loma then took control again, scoring the next seven points to post a 56-49 lead with 4:40 remaining. Case scored the next four points to move Westmont within three (56-53) with 2:23 to play, but that was as close as the Warriors would get.

Sophomore forward Alisha Heglund posted 10 points for the Warriors and pulled down three rebounds, despite being limited to 18 minutes of play because of foul trouble. The Warriors were called for 22 fouls — compared to 14 for the Sea Lions — including four each on Anderson Heglund and Stevens.

Kerra Sutton-Wodarski scored 16 points for Point Loma, which shot 38.6 percent from the floor. Westmont shot just 34 percent from the floor despite shooting 42.3 percentg in the first half. The Warriors out-rebounded Point Loma, 44-34, but gave up 25 turnovers, compared to 16 for the Sea Lions.

In other GSAC action, No. 3 Vanguard (11-2, 7-0) defeated No. 6 Azusa Pacific (14-3, 6-1), 91-71, in a battle for first place. No. 8 The Master’s (12-4, 4-3) was upset, 62-58, on its home court by Hope International (11-8, 3-4), while Biola (5-11, 2-5) beat Concordia (8-9, 2-5) in overtime, 80-75.

Fresno Pacific (7-11, 0-8) remained winless in conference, falling at San Diego Christian (7-9, 2-5), 63-57.

As a result, Westmont finds itself in a tie for sixth place with Hope International, which it will face Jan. 26 in Fullerton. First, Westmont hosts Concordia at Murchison Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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