Sat., Feb 4th, 2012 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. -- In one of the biggest wins in San Diego Christian women’s basketball history, the Lady Hawks defeated #4 Westmont College 59-56, snapping the Warriors' 16-game winning streak and tying the school’s single season record for wins at 17.
“I am really proud of the way we played tonight,” said Head Coach Kelsey Dillon. ”Westmont was 21-1 for good reason; they are very well coached and extremely talented.”
“However, we really stepped up defensively which is something that we have been working a lot on. We got the job done and we finished the game.”
The win was crucial as it kept SDC in a tie with Biola and Point Loma for the forth place spot in the GSAC.
The Lady Hawks are now 17-7 overall and 6-6 in the GSAC. Westmont falls to 21-2 overall and suffers their first GSAC loss, yet remains in first place with an 11-1 conference record.
The 17th win for SDC ties the school’s single season record for wins, set by the 99-00 team who finished 17-10.
The Lady Hawks fell behind quickly trailing 17-8 with just over eleven minutes to play in the first half. The Lady Warriors continued to build their lead, reaching double figures when Lisa Peterson drilled a jumper to push the lead up to 23-13 with 5:08 left in the first.
SDC responded with a 7-2 run to cut the Westmont lead to 25-20 heading into the locker room.
SDC’s leading scorer Brittany Daniel was in foul trouble early and only played nine minutes in the first half, scoring only two points.
The Lady Hawks received a great lift on the bench from freshman Melissa Beatty. Beatty scored six points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in the first half to lead SDC.
After an initial bucket to start the second half for the Lady Warriors, SDC went on a 13-1 run to take a 33-28 lead at the 15:22 mark. Westmont would respond, tying the game 37-37 with 12:24 left in the game.
Both teams would continue to go back and forth, with a total of six ties and five lead changes in the second half.
The Lady Hawks built a 54-49 lead until Westmont’s Katie Kittle had a layup and a three pointer on consecutive possession to tie the game with 1:53 left on the clock.
After a missed jumper by SDC, Westmont regained the lead on a pair of free throws. On the following possession, SDC’s Brittany Daniel, who had 17 second half points, was fouled and knocked down 1-2 free throws to cut the lead to 56-55 with only :56 left.
After exchanging possessions, Westmont called timeout near halfcourt with :33 on the clock. On the inbound, a cutting Westmont’s Tugce Canitez caught the pass and it was a little behind her. Canitez was unable to grab the ball cleanly and pinned it against her leg while in motion. The officials called a travel, giving the ball back to SDC. In frustration, Canitez slammed the ball down and it bounced into the crowd, forcing the officials to call a technical foul.
Daniel was tabbed to shoot the technical free throws and made both to give SDC a 57-56 lead. Westmont forced a stop on defense and called timeout to set up a play. The Lady Warriors went back to their leader, Canitez, who curled around the right elbow and drove to the hoop. SDC’s Juanita Lewis stepped in front of Canitez to draw the charge and give the ball back to SDC with :15 remaining in the game.
SDC got the ball to Daniel, who immediately was fouled. Daniel made both free throws to put SDC up 59-56.
After a Westmont timeout, the Lady Warriors inbounded the ball on their side of half court with :07 left. Westmont Aubrey Lincoln fired a three that bounced off the rim and out of bounds with :03 on the clock. SDC threw a long inbound pass to Daniel who brought the ball down as time expired.
SDC was led by Daniel with 19 points, including 17 in the second half. Jermani Stewart added 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Westmont’s Canitez had 18 points, while Peterson added 13 and Kittle had 11.
SDC’s schedule remains difficult, with six games remaining and all six teams vying for playoff positioning.
Dillon added, “While this is a great win, we have to enjoy it for the night and get focused on another top 25 team in Vanguard on Tuesday."
SDC travels to Vanguard on Tuesday, February 7th with a scheduled 5:30pm tip.