Four Warriors scored in double figures as #5 Westmont women’s basketball (16-1, 9-1 GSAC) defeated Ottawa of Arizona (5-13, 1-9) by a score of 79-36 in a Thursday night Golden State Athletic Conference game. With the win, and a 58-57 loss by Hope International to William Jessup, Westmont has reclaimed sole possession of first place.
“Our biggest goal today was trying to put together four focused quarters defensively and I thought we did a good job of that,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “It was a great team effort.”
The Warriors have allowed just 49.2 points per game, the lowest total of any team in the NAIA.
Kate Goostrey led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points while making four out of five attempts from three-point range. Goostrey also tallied six rebounds and four assists.
“Kate was locked in mentally and her competitiveness showed,” noted Moore. “She, obviously, gave us a lot from the perimeter. I also thought we had a huge contribution from our bench and really from everyone.”
As has been true the last several games, Moore was able to give everyone an opportunity to play with all nine players taking the floor for at least 15 minutes. The bench accounted for 31 of the Warriors’ points while shooting 50% from the field (9 of 18) and going five of 12 (41.7%) from the floor.
Three players tallied 12 points apiece – Stefanie Berberabe, Laila Saenz and Sage Kramer. Berberabe, who also recorded four rebounds, six assists and three steals, increased her career points total to 1,535, just three behind Westmont’s all-time leading scorer Lauren McCoy (2014-18).
Saenz sank three long-range shots while collecting two rebounds and producing two steals. Kramer went four of eight from the field and pulled down six rebounds.
Destiny Okonkwo added another nine points to the Warriors’ cause while leading the team with seven rebounds.
The Warriors started the game on a 17-1 run, which included two triples from Goostrey and another from Saenz. Bailey Fong (6 points, 2 assists) sank another to give Westmont a 20-6 lead at the end of the opening frame.
Westmont’s offense struggled in the second quarter, going scoreless for the first seven minutes. However, the Warrior defense allowed just four points during that same time. As a result, Westmont maintained a double-digit lead throughout and entered the locker room with a 27-14 advantage.
“Ottawa was very physical, in the second quarter especially when there weren’t a lot of fouls called,” reported Moore. “It was tough to get momentum from offense, but I was proud that we didn’t fall into the trap of that affecting our defense.”
The Warriors’ offense hit full stride in the second half with Westmont outscoring Ottawa 52-22. The Warriors made 60% of their second-half shots, including 46.7% from three-point range.
Westmont travels to Glendale today to take on the Firestorm of Arizona Christian. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.