Westmont Women’s Basketball, ranked second in the NAIA, lost its first game of the season, falling to the Oaks of Menlo (10-6, 4-3 GSAC). Menlo extended its winning streak to five in a row with the 77-67 win. Westmont dropped to 13-1 overall and 6-1 in in Golden State Athletic Conference play.
Menlo connected on 60% of its shots from the floor (27-45), including 40% from 3-point range (6 of 15) as Westmont gave up its largest point total of the season.
Offensively, the Warriors scored just under their average of 69.5 points per game, while posting a 41.7% field goal percentage, just above their average field goal percentage of 40.4%. From beyond the arc, Westmont made eight of 21 attempts for 38.1%, slightly better than their 36.5% average.
The Warriors are ranked seventh in the NAIA with a rebound margin of 13.1 per game, but collected just two more boards more than the Oaks (28-26). Westmont did enjoy a 16-8 advantage in offensive rebounds.
In the first quarter, Westmont outscored Menlo 16-14 with Sage Kramer tallying five points and Stefanie Berberabe notching four. Berberabe ended the game with 21 points, three rebounds and four assists while Kramer added 13 points, 4 rebounds and three steals to the Warriors’ cause.
Both defenses stepped up in the second quarter with neither team allowing the other to score in double digits. Both teams were limited to two field goals with each knocking down one triple. Menlo outscored the Warriors 9-8 in the second frame making the scored 24-23 headed into the intermission.
The Oaks found their offensive stride in the second half, scoring 25 points in the third quarter and 29 in the fourth. Berberabe tallied 11 points in the penultimate period while Laila Saenz added five and Kate Goostrey added three on a long-distance bomb. Saenz, finished the game with 11 points in 22 minutes of work while Goostrey notched 10 points and four assists.
In the final frame, Westmont put together a six-point run with a jumper by Kramer, and layups by Berberabe and Destiny Okonkwo (5 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists). As a result, the Warriors pulled within four points (60-56) with three and one-half minutes to play.
However, Westmont could not cool off Menlo’s hot hands. The Oaks made nine of 12 in the fourth quarter and nine of 10 from the charity stripe to keep the Warriors at bay. For the game, Menlo made 17 of 18 (94.4%) from the free throw line.
As a result of today’s loss, Westmont falls into a tie with Hope International (13-3, 6-1) for first place in the GSAC standings. Vanguard (11-3, 4-2) is one game back in third place. The Master’s (10-4, 4-3), Menlo and William Jessup (9-7, 4-3) are tied for fourth place, two games behind the leaders.
The Warriors return to action on Thursday when they host Life Pacific (5-12, 1-6) as part of a women’s and men’s double-header. The women will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. with the men following at 7:30.