Westmont Moves On
Olympian Tugce Canitez (Turkey) hit a 3 to open the scoring and didn't let up, scoring 30 and grabbing 17 rebounds for a double-double. She is just the second player to score 30 in this year's tournament. Kelsie Sampson followed with 19 points, while Larissa Hensley dished out eight assists.
The Warriors (27-4) jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first six and a half minutes, including a 10-0 run to start the second round game. Rogers State responded with a 9-0 run, including four points by leading scorer, Leah Smith. With the margin cut to five, 18-13, RSU continued to hang around, pulling within two, 23-21, on a 3 by Ariani Silva with 5:31 to play. Westmont ended the half on a 10-0 run though to enter halftime up, 38-25. The Warriors shot at a pace of 53.3 percent in the first half and 49.1 percent for the game, including 42.9 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Momentum continued into the second half with Westmont reaching its largest lead at 18 points, 47-29, with 16 minutes left in the game. Rogers State used a 12-1 run late in the half to drop the margin to single digits, 62-54, after a 3-pointer by Sierra Cornwell, but could not get any closer than seven points. Westmont hit 10-of-12 free throws in the final 3:13 to seal the win.
Smith led Rogers State with a career-high 26 points, while Silva had 19. Cornwell, who was named the Sooner Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year, led the Hillcats with six rebounds and four steals to go along with her nine points. Senior forward Logan Froese scored six points to finish her four-year career with a program best 1,188 points.
Rogers State finishes the season with a 24-10 record after posting a program-best mark of 12-4 in Sooner Athletic Conference play during the regular season.
Westmont will meet Westminster (Utah) in the second quarterfinal matchup Saturday at 4 p.m. EDT.