For the second time in a week, No. 9 Westmont (14-3. 5-0 GSAC) has handed an NAIA top-10 team its first loss of the year. In a battle for sole possession for first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference, Westmont defeated No. 8 The Master's (17-1, 4-1) in Santa Clarita by a score of 68-57.
Kelsie Sampson posted her second double-double of the year, tallying a career high 26 points while pulling down 11 rebounds. Tugce Canitez, who earlier today was named the NAIA Player of the Week, also posted a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds. Celina Gougis scored in double figures as well, recording 12 points, 8 rebounds and four assists.
After falling behind 7-2 to start the game, the Warriors used an 11-2 run to take a 13-9 lead with eleven minutes left in the first half. The score remained close throughout the rest of the first half with Westmont holding a slight 31-29 advantage at the intermission.
The Mustangs grabbed the lead (33-31) early in the second half with a free throw by Jacquelyn Marshall (9 points, 9 rebounds) and a three-pointer by Whitney Best (11 points). However, that would be the last lead the Mustangs would wrestle up. An 11-2 run by the Warriors would put Westmont in the driver's seat the rest of the way.
The Warriors shot 51.8 percent from the floor (29 of 56) while holding the Mustangs to 30.3 percent (20 of 66). Westmont also enjoyed a 48-34 rebounding advantage.
The Mustangs were led in scoring by Lena Rivera who scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds.
In GSAC play, all the visiting teams won. No. 3 Vanguard (13-1, 4-1) defeated Concordia (4-13, 2-3) by a score of 77-57 and San Diego Christian (11-10, 3-2) posted a 96-52 win at Arizona Christian (4-13, 0-5). Biola (10-10, 1-4) picked up its first conference win, outscoring Hope International (9-11, 1-4) 69-61.
As a result, Westmont holds a one game lead over The Master's and Vanguard who are tied for second. San Diego Christian is one game farther back in fourth place while Concordia claims fifth place. Biola and Hope International are tied for sixth.