CHANDLER, Ariz. — On the second day of the Cactus Classic, the No. 2 Westmont women’s basketball team (11-2) claimed a 59-51 victory Wednesday over the Orediggers of Montana Tech (7-8).
“It wasn’t pretty, but it was gritty and we got it done,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “It was nice to pull out a win.
“We held them to 51 points today. We faced back-to-back physical teams and physical games (in Arizona). It was good to be able to bounce back and get a win today.”
The Warriors were outscored 14-8 in the first quarter but turned things around in the second frame, outscoring the Orediggers 20-9 to take a 28-23 lead into the lockerroom at the intermission. Sydney Brown hit a 3-point field goal with two seconds left to give the Warriors the five-point halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, the Warriors outpaced the Orediggers 19-15, added by two 3-pointers by Laila Saenz. In the final frame, Kaitlin Larson scored on a layup to give Westmont its largest lead of the day at 53-48.
Stefanie Berberabe led the Warriors with 19 points while also tallying four steals.
“Stef turned things up for us defensively and was able to get some offense going off of her steals,” pointed out Moore. “She got her midrange jumper going for a while, and we were able to get her loose in transition a little bit too. A lot of good things happen when she can get loose and get out on the open court.”
Iyree Jarrett recorded 12 points and three assists for the Warriors and Saenz added 10 points. Brown scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“We have played some gritty defense the last couple of days but have struggled to get any momentum offensively,” noted Moore. “We need to come back after the break and be ready to knock down some of the shots we are not finishing right now.”
The Warriors head home for a Christmas before returning in the new year to prepare for the return to Golden State Athletic Conference play. Westmont resumes play on Thursday by hosting William Jessup at 5:30 p.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.