SANTA CLARITA — The Westmont women’s basketball team (24-3) advanced to the semifinals of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament with an 80-41 win Thursday over the Hawks of San Diego Christian (9-20).
Stefanie Berberabe recorded the third triple-double in program history and the first in nearly a decade. Berberabe scored 12 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished off 10 assists – all of which she accomplished in just 30 minutes of play.
Tugce Canitez was the last Warrior to accomplish the feat, doing so in a one-point victory over Carroll (Mont.) on November 18, 2012. The first Warrior triple-double was by Amber Stevens on November 4, 2006 against Robert Morris (Ill.)
“Obviously, Stef led the way with her energy, her defense and her passing,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “She was all over the floor. In the first half, she was unbelievable. I guess that is ‘Postseason Stef’, although I feel like that is her all the time. She has this other gear in her that is incredible to watch and makes everyone around her better.”
Berberabe was not the only one hitting on all cylinders in tonight’s game. All 11 Warriors that took the floor scored and 10 also collected at least one rebound.
“It was an incredible team effort tonight,” noted Moore. “The teams that play their best in the postseason are those whose every player knows their role, fulfills their role and plays it to the best when it is needed. I challenged us to be ready to do that tonight and I saw great contributions from everyone out there tonight. It was fun to see.”
Laila Saenz went five of 10 from downtown to lead the Warriors in scoring with 15 points. Iyree Jarrett tallied 12 points and snatched four steals. Sydney Brown put up nine points and collected three boards.
The Hawks started the game well and took advantage of early Warrior misses to jump out to a 13-6 lead when Izzy Feller drained her second 3-pointer of the game. Westmont responded, however, and closed out the first quarter on an 8-2 lead to trail by just one point (15-14) at the end of the second quarter.
Westmont took control in the second quarter, outscoring San Diego Christian 24-4. The Warriors held the Hawks without a field goal from the final three minutes of the first quarter through the first nine and one-half minutes of the second. By intermission, Westmont held a 38-19 advantage and never looked back.
“I think this was a good first step,” affirmed Moore, “but we, obviously, want to build on this. With every game we play in the postseason it gets tougher and tougher. We need to recover now and focus on the next game and the next opportunity.”
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.