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College Basketball

Krupa Leads Westmont Women to Semifinal Win

(PHOENIX) Sophomore Joy Krupa tallied 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead #4 Westmont Women's Basketball (21-6) to a 59-50 Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal win over The Master's (19-10) on Saturday afternoon in Fultz Memorial Gym on the campus of Arizona Christian. It was Krupa's sixth double-double of the season. She also had three assists and two blocks.

"Joy came out really aggressive from the start," said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. "She is the GSAC Defensive Player of the Year and has such a presence on the defensive end, but when she gets going offensively, it is a big game changer. Her numbers speak for themselves tonight."

With the win, the Warriors advance to the GSAC Tournament championship game on Monday.

"Everyone in our conference knows each other so well at this point. It is such a battle every game," said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. "Master's is very tough and battled every possession. Our players did too. Two of our players sprained their ankles and kept trying to play through. It called for a lot of toughness for us today for us to come out with the win. I am definitely proud of the team for sticking together and continuing to find a way to pull out the game down the stretch like we have all year."

The Warriors went up 19-11 in the first quarter with the Warriors shooting 57.1 percent from the floor (8 of 14) while holding the Mustangs to 27.8 percent (5 of 18). In the second quarter, Warrior shooting went cold, making just 2 of 12 from the field for a percentage of just 16.7 percent. The Master's shot 35.7 percent during the second period, tying the game at 26-all at intermission.

A seesaw battle ensued in the third quarter, with nine lead changes and two ties. By the end of the penultimate period, Westmont held a 44-41 advantage. Shooting improved for Westmont who made six of 12 for 50 percent from the floor and five of five from the charity stripe. The Master's made seven of 18 from the floor for 38.9 percent but did not get to the line.

A few seconds into the fourth quarter, Krupa twisted her ankle and had to come out of the game temporarily. Cassidy Tiegs (6 points, 3 rebounds) replaced her and made an immediate impact.

"To me, the momentum of the game changed when Joy went out and we subbed in Cassidy off the bench," said Moore. "Cassidy played super tough and took a huge charge on the defensive end of the floor. That charge energized our team. We pulled together and made a little run. I'm really proud of her for being ready when she was needed most to step in and make a big play. With Joy being out, the scrappy play that Cassidy brought was awesome."

Maud Ranger (9 points, 3 rebounds) gave Westmont a six-point lead (47-41) early in the final frame with a three-point bucket – her third of the game. With just over seven minutes to play, Morgan Haskin (13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks) hit a jumper in the paint following an offensive rebound by Lauren McCoy (7 points, 4 rebounds) to give Westmont a 49-51 advantage. A layup by McCoy stretched the Warrior's lead to 10 points with 6:16 remaining in regulation.

After a free throw by The Master's Anika Neuman recorded the Mustangs' first point of the quarter, Tiegs connected on a jumper to put the Warriors up 53-42. The Mustangs responded with a pair of baskets by Hannah Throns and Hannah Ostrom, making it a 53-46 game with four minutes to go.

Westmont went back up by nine (55-46) with 3:36 left when Lauren Tsuneishi (3 points, 3 assists) inbounded the ball to Krupa with two seconds on the shot clock. Krupa stepped back with a single dribble and dropped the ball through the hoop.

One minute later, Sabrina Thompson scored on a jumper for the Mustangs to make the score 55-48. Neither team scored for the next two minutes as Westmont ate up the full shot clock on each of its possessions. With 38 seconds remaining, Krupa drained two free throws to give Westmont a 57-48 lead.

Brooke Bailey scored Westmont's final points on a jumper in the paint and Krupa tacked on two more free throws to account for the final score.

In Monday night's championship game, the Warriors will match-up with the Lions of Vanguard. The Lions reached the championship by virtue of a 71-55 win over Hope International.

The two teams split the regular season meetings with Westmont winning 73-38 in Santa Barbara on January 27 and Vanguard posting a 44-40 win in Costa Mesa on February 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. MST/4:00 p.m. PST.

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