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Sato Leads Westmont to Quarterfinal Win

March 17, 2017
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BILLINGS, Mont. – (Box Score) Kayla Sato scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead Westmont (Calif.) into the quarterfinals with a 73-56 victory over Lyon (Ark.) in a second round game of the 2017 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Wells Fargo, at the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.

“I think our defense was great,” said Westmont Head Coach Kirsten Moore. “There is a reason that the saying goes ‘defense and rebounding wins championships,’ so if we just continue to try and stay focused on that, hopefully, good things will keep happening.”

With 5:27 gone in the first quarter, Westmont’s Sato connected on a jumper to break a 4-4 tie and began an 11-2 Warrior run, capped by a Cora Chan layup. Westmont extended their lead to seven and led 18-11 after the first quarter.

The Warriors took control and maintained their lead throughout the second quarter with their largest lead, 10, coming with 2:05 remaining. Lyon’s Kiara Moore scored with four seconds left in the half to cut the Warrior lead to eight at end the first half, 39-31.

Lyon opened the second half scoring with a pair of free throws from Elliot Taylor, beginning an 11-3 run. The Scots took their first lead of the game with 4:49 left in the third on a Kiarra Moore basket. Westmont did not score their first basket of the third quarter until the 4:19 mark with a Kayla Sato 3-pointer, which broke a 39-39 tie.

A layup by Westmont’s Aysia Shellmire broke a 42-42 tie with three minutes left in the third quarter. That basket proved to be the winning basket for the Warriors.

Lyon made a charge, but the Warrior defense held off each charge and built back their lead throughout the remainder of the contest.

Lyon, in only their second trip to the championship second round, ends their season at 28-6. Moore led three players scoring in double figures with 13. Lyon scored 10 points off of turnovers compared to four for the Warriors.

Kayla Sato led the Warriors with 21 points and 11 rebounds, good for her seventh double-double of the season. Lauren McCoy recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Westmont improves to 4-2 overall in second round appearances and 28-4 this season. They will face the winner of the Bethel-Lewis Clark State game in the quarterfinals.

“We’re going to have a tough, tough game next game, no matter who were are playing, but we are really excited to have the opportunity to be in the final eight,” said Moore.