Sydney Brown recorded her fourth double-double of the season, posting 19 points and 12 rebounds, as the No. 2-ranked Westmont women’s basketball team (10-1, 4-1 GSAC) defeated the visiting Royals of Hope International (11-2, 4-2) by a score of 73-53 Saturday.
“Syd did a great job, especially just staying with things,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Early on, she had some good looks at shots she normally makes that didn’t go down. We talked at halftime about how Hope was trying to pack in and take away driving lanes for our guards. She was able to take advantage of that and shot with a ton of confidence. I was proud of her and the contributions she made. She has been doing a great job on the boards with us and I am glad to see her put that together with a lot of scoring tonight as well.”
Stefanie Berberabe matched Brown’s offensive output and added six rebound and six assists. Laila Saenz dropped in three second-half 3-pointers on her way to a 15-point night.
“Laila stuck with it as well,” noted Moore. “In the first half, she missed all of her threes. She is a phenomenal shooter and knocked a bunch down in the second half. That was really good for us.”
Also contributing to the Warrior cause was Iyree Jarrett who tallied 11 points and eight assists. In a touching moment during the second half, Jarrett was being guarded by her younger sister Shailissa Jarrett who plays for the Royals. The younger Jarrett fouled the elder and their father, sitting in the second row, called out playfully, “Jarrett fouled Jarrett!”
“I thought we played solid defense the whole game,” assessed Moore. “We talked about it being important to keep them from getting momentum. They are an explosive offensive team and we were trying to keep them from getting any big runs. I thought we did a good job of that.
“I thought we played a clean, efficient game. We had just eight turnovers against a team that is effective at creating steals and turnovers. One of the keys to the game for us is that we were able to execute very well.”
The Warriors never trailed in the game and outscored the Royals in each quarter. Berberabe led the way offensively for Westmont in the first quarter, draining two from long range and tallying eight points. Westmont led at the end of the first 10 minutes by a score of 19-12.
In the second frame, the Royals pulled within two (21-19) before the Warriors responded with a 7-0 run consisting of a 3-point bucket by Jarrett, a jumper by Saenz and a layup by Berberabe. At halftime, the Warriors were on top 37-26.
Brown and Saenz found their rhythm in the third quarter with each tallying eight points. Brown went four of five from the field, mostly with her mid-range jumper, while Saenz made two of four from downtown and added a two. By the end of the third quarter, Westmont had stretched its lead to 19 points (58-39).
Brown continued with her hot hand in the final frame, making three of five from downtown to tally six points. Westmont did not permit Hope International a field goal for a stretch of more than five minutes in the fourth quarter. The Warriors extended their advantage to as much as 25 (73-48) on Brown’s final bucket of the night.
Westmont will take a break next week for final examinations. Then, on Dec. 21 and 22, the Warriors will head to the desert for a couple of games in the greater Phoenix area. Westmont will take on Carroll of Montana (11-2) before facing off against Montana Tech (6-7). Links to the video broadcasts of both games are available at athletics.westmont.edu.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.