The Westmont women’s basketball team overcame a cold-shooting third quarter to defeat Azusa Pacific on Saturday, 66-62, at Murchison Gymnasium.
The Warriors (1-1) had been sidelined for five weeks before Saturday’s matchup with the Cougars, though that rust certainly didn’t show in the early going.
After taking an 18-16 lead after the first quarter, Westmont outscored Azusa 18-8 in the second quarter to take a 12-point lead into the break.
The Cougars dominated the third quarter, outscoring the hosts 21-4 in the period. Wesmont shot just 4.2% from the field in the third, including 11% from distance.
Those woes would not continue, however, as the team bounced back to shoot a scorching 62.5% from the field and 75% from deep to complete the comeback.
Tied at 50, Sydney Brown’s jumper with 6:15 left gave Westmont a two-point lead, 52-50. Moments later, Iyree Jarrett knocked down a triple to make it 55-52, but the Cougars continued to fight.
Laura Pranger’s triple with just under four minutes left brought the score to 56-55 in favor of the hosts, before Stefanie Berberabe’s triple with 3:06 left put Westmont ahead 58-55.
Molly Whitmore converted an and-one with 2:33 left, followed by a jumper by Berberabe to make it 60-58.
Kaitlin Larson converted a steal with just under two minutes left, as Jarrett found Berberabe for the layup to make it 62-58. Berberabe added a steal 30 seconds later, taking it the other way and converting another layup to make it a six-point game, 64-58.
Kelly Heimburger’s layup for Azusa made it 64-62 with 25 seconds left, but Jarrett was able to calmly knock down a pair at the charity stripe to secure the win.
For the Cougars, Kayla Shaw led the way with 21 points. Pranger added 18 points and 11 rebounds, with Whitmore contributing 13 points in the loss.
For the Warriors, Berberabe finished with 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to go along with five assists. Jarrett finished with eight points and nine dimes, while Larson scored five points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Lauren Tsuneishi led the way with 21, all coming from beyond the arc. She made seven of her 16 attempts from downtown in the game.
As a team, Westmont shot just 30.4% from the field, compared to 42.1% for the Cougars.
The women will be back in action on Jan. 26 when they take on Simpson at Murchison Gymnasium. No fans are allowed due to COVID-19 protocols.