The NAIA’s top-ranked women’s basketball team improved its season record to 4-0 as Westmont defeated La Sierra (2-2) by a score of 85-51 Saturday in Murchison Gymnasium. Five Warriors scored in double figures led by Laila Saenz who tallied a career-high 20 points. Saenz knocked down six of 10 from long distance.
Stefanie Berberabe made six of 10 from the field on her way to 14 points. She also dished off seven assists and collected six steals for the Warriors.
Three Warriors tallied 12 points – Iyree Jarrett, who also had seven assists; Sydney Brown who added five rebounds; and freshman guard Haylie Dermer. Dermer’s dozen were the first points of her collegiate career and came on four 3-point buckets.
“It was so fun to see Haylie get in there and shoot with confidence,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “She is still learning on the fly, but for her to shoot with confidence will give us a lot.”
Gabriella Stoll led the way on the boards for the Warriors with 10 rebounds.
Seven and one-half minutes into the game, Westmont held just an 11-10 lead. However, a 10-0 run put the Warriors in the driver’s seat. Jarrett scored half of those points on two free throws and a 3-pointer. Berberabe added an ‘and-one” and Aleena Cook capped off the run with a jumper.
Westmont led 21-12 going into the second quarter in which it outscored La Sierra 22-7 to take a commanding 24-point lead (43-19). Nine of those points were the result of Dermer connecting from beyond the arc on three consecutive attempts.
Westmont’s largest lead of the night came with 8:57 remaining to play when Gabriella Stoll connected from 3-point range to give Westmont a 42-point margin (75-33). In all, Westmont went 14 of 30 from 3-point range (46.7%).
If there was a weakness in the Warriors” performance tonight, it was in layups. Westmont made just 11 of 31 attempts (35.5%).
“If we could make lay-ups at the same percentage we make threes, we would be dangerous,” quipped Moore after the game.
With the win, Westmont has extended its winning streak to 19 games and has now won its last 33 against non-NCAA Division I teams.
The Warriors will be back in action on Tuesday, November 16 when they host the Pioneers of Antelope Valley (2-3) at 5:30 p.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.