Westmont Women’s Basketball (20-1, 13-1 GSAC) notched its seventh win in a row as the Warriors defeated the Royals of Hope International, 73-46, on Saturday afternoon in Murchison Gymnasium.
With four games remaining in the regular season, Westmont sits atop the Golden State Athletic Conference standings with a two-game lead over second-place Vanguard (18-4, 11-3). The two teams will meet up in Costa Mesa on Thursday evening. With a win, Westmont can claim at least a share of the GSAC Regular Season Championship.
Seven different Warriors scored eight or more points in the game, led by Stefanie Berberabe and Laila Saenz, who each tallied 14. Berberabe completed a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds, while adding five assists and three steals. Saenz made four of eight from 3-point range.
Sydney Brown connected on several long two-point field goals to tally 10 points and four rebounds. Sage Kramer notched nine points and nine rebounds while three Warriors posted eight points apiece – Destiny Okonkwo (5 rebounds), Kate Goostrey (3 rebounds, 3 steals) and Paula Graichen.
Tied at four early in the game, Westmont produced an 8-0 run with a pair of jumpers by Berberabe and one each by Okonkwo and Saenz. The Hawks Ysabelle Halemano ended the Warrior run with a triple, making the score 12-7 with 5:32 remaining in the opening frame.
Neither team scored for the next three minutes until Surie Camacho scored on a jumper in the paint to pull the Royals within three (12-9).
With 1:13 to go in the first quarter, Laila Saenz dropped in a triple to ignite a 25-5 run that did not end until Kate Goostrey hit a buzzer-beating three at the end of the second period. Goostrey contributed eight points during the run while Brown connected for six. As a result, Westmont took a 37-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Hope International recovered in the third quarter and matched Westmont’s 17 points, scoring more than they had in the previous two quarters combined. In the final frame, the Warriors outpaced the Hawks 19-15.
The Warriors outrebounded the Hawks 41-31, which led to a 16-4 advantage in second-chance points. Westmont forced 20 Hope International turnovers, including 13 steals, while committing just seven.
Thursday’s game at Vanguard will be followed by a road game with Life Pacific next Saturday. Both games are scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.