A streaky Westmont women’s basketball squad fell short in Santa Clarita on Tuesday as No. 10 The Master’s handed the Warriors a 68-60 loss.
Freshman forward Angel Blanco came off the bench to lead Westmont (13-5, 5-5 in the Golden State Athletic Conference) in scoring with 12 points. She made six of eight field goal attempts and pulled down seven boards. Junior forward Ali Mooty also had a hot hand off the bench, scoring on four of five attempts from the field and recording nine points. The All-American needs just four more points to reach the 1,000-point mark in her collegiate career.
Sophomore guards Jessica Case and Amber Stevens recorded 11 points, with Stevens adding seven rebounds, seven steals and five assists.
Layups by senior forward Stephanie Anderson (eight points, three rebounds) and sophomore post Alisha Heglund (six points, four rebounds) gave the Warriors an early 4-2 lead. But Amanda Durocher (14 points) nailed one of her four three-pointers to put The Master’s up, 5-4.
The turnover bug bit hard for the next two minutes as each of the next nine possessions resulted in turnovers — four for The Master’s and five for Westmont. The unfortunate streak ended with a three-point bucket by Jen Ayres-Stamper (13 points), who scored four times from long range for The Mustangs. Her three-pointer was matched by another from Durocher, giving The Master’s a 14-7 advantage with 11:37 to play in the opening frame.
But Case answered with a three of her own and Blanco put the ball through the hoop on three-straight possessions to put Westmont in the lead, 16-14. The Master’s (14-5, 6-4) recaptured the lead with eight and one-half minutes on the first-half clock on an old-fashion three-point play by Teresa Fukumoto (five points) and another long-distance basket by Durocher.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they would not score again in the first half and The Master’s would Two and a half minutes later, Case pulled the Warriors to within two (20-18) on a layup but Jenni Ritter responded in kind. Fukumoto stretched the lead to six with two free throws before Case knocked down another of her three three-pointers to reduce the margin to 24-21 with just under four minutes to go in the half take a 28-21 lead into the locker room.
The second half did not begin well for Westmont. The Master’s posted a 15-4 run in just over four minutes to go up, 43-25. The Warriors, however, began slowly whittling away at the lead and pulled to within five points (53-48) on a Blanco jumper at the six-minute mark. Westmont would get no closer.
The Warriors will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. Saturday as they begin a two-game homestand with a game against No. 19 California Baptist. On Feb. 5, Westmont will host seventh-ranked Azusa Pacific.
Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.