While Antelope Valley strengthened its hold on first place in the California Pacific Conference, the two teams at the bottom of the standings made plenty of noise last week. Trailing by 14 points entering the final period, Cal Maritime roared back with a 21-point swing over the final 10 minutes to top Embry-Riddle and garner its first win in the Cal Pac this year. Pacific Union, whose only other conference win was over the Keelhaulers, went into overtime to clip La Sierra and earn its second win in Cal Pac action.
Thursday, February 2
CAL MARITIME 72, EMBRY-RIDDLE 65: Trailing by double digits going into the final period, the Keelhaulers blitzed the Eagles over the final 10 minutes in Vallejo, Calif., and earned their first conference victory of the season. Down 57-43, CSUM outscored ERAU 29-8 in the fourth quarter, turning the game around with timely shooting and tenacious defense. Nancy Clark and Alisia Spearman each had career nights for the Keelhaulers. Both players drained 4-of-7 treys with Clark going for 28 points, and Spearman finishing with 24. They were a combined 19-for-33 from the floor. Spearman also chipped in with five rebounds, three steals, and three assists for CSUM, now 1-8 in the Cal Pac and 4-21 overall. ERAU, now 5-5 in conference and 11-11 overall, had three players reach double figures in scoring. Danae Ruiz led the Eagles with 19 points, Jazlyn Malentino added 17 with a flawless 7-for-7 effort from the floor, and Kylee Riebel added 12 points and six boards. Melissa Pfeifer pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
UC MERCED 80, BENEDICTINE-MESA 69: The Bobcats held off the Redhawks in Merced, Calif. UCM led from tip-off until late into the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 18 in the second half. But BenU never surrendered, making a late run to tie the game at 69-69 with 2:20 remaining in the game. UCM rallied to finish the game on an 11-0 run to improve to 7-2 in the Cal Pac and 13-8 overall. Mia Belvin led the Bobcats' offense, finishing with a game-high 25 points. She also added four assists and five steals. Courtney Danna added 14 points, eight assists, and five steals. The combination of Brittany Martinez and Danielle Ward dominated in the paint all night, combining for 24 points, 19 rebounds, and shooting 10-21 from the floor. The Redhawks, now 6-4 in conference and 12-10 overall, had four starters finish in double figures. Felicia Foster led BenU with 19 points, Emily Moore tossed in 13, and Alexis Todd and Erica Vasquez each scored 12. Moore also contributed nine rebounds, four steals, and three blocks.
(RV) ANTELOPE VALLEY 81, SIMPSON 55: The Pioneers outran the Red Hawks in Redding, Calif. UAV, now 8-1 at the top of the Cal Pac standings and 16-4 overall, outpaced SU, snapping a five-game win streak and falling to 7-3 in conference and 14-12 overall. The Pioneers jumped out to a 37-17 lead at the half, limiting the Red Hawks to single digits in each of the first two periods. Ahteana Jones led four UAV players in the double digits with a game-high 25 points, connecting on five of her 10 3-point attempts. She also recorded a double-double by grabbing a game-high 10 boards in the game. Aunjanay Chambers added 16 points and nine rebounds, Clarissa Perez contributed 12 points, LaChae McColor finished with 10 points. Esther Wofford led the Red Hawks with 19 points, and Whitney Rodriguez finished with 10 points and eight boards.
Saturday, February 4
(RV) ANTELOPE VALLEY 92, PACIFIC UNION 55: The Pioneers of UAV rolled into Angwin, Calif., and rolled past the Pioneers of PUC for their eighth win in a row to improve to 9-1 in the Cal Pac and 17-4 overall. UAV hounded PUC throughout the first quarter, building a 25-10 that would only grow over the final three periods. UAV, which got 42 points from the bench, benefited from a career-high outing by Daizah Pounds, who poured in 22 points on 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc, and Aujunay Chambers added 18 points. PUC's Alexis Lyers led her team with 16 points, and Imari Clinton and Natalya Stepanchuk each scored 13.
BENEDICTINE-MESA 89, CAL MARITIME 73: A big first half and a career night led the Redhawks to win over the Keelhaulers in Vallejo, Calif. BenU outscored CSUM 51-26 in the first half, scoring 25 or more points in each of the first two quarters of play. The Redhawks would keep the Keelhaulers at bay the rest the way, despite a desperate push from the Keelhaulers in the final quarter. BenU's Emily Moore finished with a school-record 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting and added 11 rebounds and five assists -- both team highs -- in the victory. Erica Vasquez added 17 points and Alexis Todd chipped in with 16 points for the Redhawks, now tied for third in the Cal Pac at 7-4, 13-10 overall. CSUM's Lillian Dawkins connected on 10 of her 14 shots from the floor and finished with 23 points, tying her career high. Alisia Spearman added 15 points for the Keelhaulers, now 1-9 in conference and 4-22 for the season.
EMBRY-RIDDLE 104, UC MERCED 95 (OT): The Eagles bounced back from an upset loss to Cal Maritime two days earlier to outlast the Bobcats in Merced, Calif. UCM, trailing by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, put together a run over the final ten minutes that forced extra time, but the Bobcats ultimately fell short in the high-scoring extra period. Over the final 3:32 of the fourth quarter, UCM caught fire, finishing the quarter on a 13-4 run, and it appeared that ERAU might suffer its second-consecutive fourth-quarter collapse. But the Eagles survived the UCM run and then doubled the Bobcats' scoring output in the overtime period 18-9. Six ERAU players reached double figures, topped by Kylee Riebel's 24 points off the bench. Riebel hit 9-of-14 shots and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the Eagles, who kept their playoff hopes alive by improving to 6-5 in the Cal Pac and 12-11 overall. Haley Villegas drained four of her six 3-point attempts and finished with 20 points and a game-high 10 assists. Melissa Pfeifer was nearly flawless, hitting 6-of-7 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-5 from the free throw line to contribute a career-high 18 points. Katana Martina chipped in 12 points, and Jazlyn Malentino and Danae Ruiz each added 10. Jenna Knudson distributed 12 assists for ERAU, the second-highest total in the Cal Pac this season. UCM's Courtney Danna, who scored 16 points in the third and fourth quarters to lead the team's comeback, finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. She also did not miss from long range all night, going 6-for-6 from deep. Mia Belvin contributed 19 points and six steals, and Christina Castro totaled 18 points for the Bobcats, who are now alone in second place in the Cal Pac with a 7-3 record, 13-9 overall.
LA SIERRA 77, SIMPSON 72 (OT): The Golden Eagles rallied in the second half and forced overtime, where LSU pulled away to clip the Red Hawks in Redding, Calif. LSU, trailing 40-24 at the half, clamped down the defense and ramped up the offense to turn the tables on SU over the final two periods. The Golden Eagles, now 3-6 in conference and 7-15 overall, poured in 42 second-half points and limited SU to just 26 to force an extra five minutes. LSU's Amanda Sanchez led all scorers with 22 points and also recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. Korie Siets added 13 points for the Golden Eagles, while Elsie Mejia (12 points) and Celina Calderon (11 points) each reached double digits. SU, now 7-4 in the Cal Pac and 14-13 overall, had three players finish with double figures: Esther Wofford had 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals, while Whitney Rodriguez and Brea Carter both finished with 10.
Sunday, February 5
PACIFIC UNION 76, LA SIERRA 71 (OT): The Pioneers outlasted the Golden Eagles in Angwin, Calif. PUC earned its second win of the Cal Pac campaign by outscoring LSU 31-17 over the final 15 minutes of play. The perfect picture of a balanced offense, six of the seven PUC players reached double figures in scoring, led by Celina Ewing's 13 points. Imari Clinton and Alexis Lyers each added 12, Faith Williams and Karrie Franklin both finished with 11, and Natalya Stepanchuk chipped in 10 points for the Pioneers, who improve to 2-9 in conference and 2-16 on the season. Kaylie Grandell, the only PUC player not to reach double figures, added seven. The Golden Eagles, playing their second overtime game in less than 24 hours, received another double-double from Amanda Sanchez, who finished with 10 points and 15 boards for LSU. Rachel Hahn led all scorers with 21 points, Celina Calderon added 13 points, and Elsie Mejia contributed 10 points for LSU, now 3-7 in the Cal Pac and 7-16 overall.