SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The first day of the CHM Hotels Basketball Invitational at Westmont is in the books with No. 3 Westmont women's basketball (3-2) posting a 65-44 win over No. 18 Carroll of Montana (5-1).
The invitational will continue tomorrow afternoon with Carroll and The Master's facing off at 1:30 p.m. and Freed-Hardeman and Westmont following at 3:30 p.m.
Both of tomorrow's games are rematches from the 2013 NAIA National Championship. In the first round last March, Carroll defeated The Master's 73-58 while Westmont claimed a 59-49 semifinal win over Freed-Hardman.
In today's first game, Westmont's Celina Gougis tallied 21 points and Kelsie Sampson poured in 16 in the Warriors' win. Gougis, who was nine of 15 from the floor, added four assists and pulled down seven rebounds.
Carroll was led by Kalee Junkermier with 19 points and four rebounds. Junkermier made four of five from three-point range. Bailey Snelling added another 10 points for the Fighting Saints.
After giving up the first two points to free throws by Jordan Bagley, Westmont responded with an 8-0 run consisting of a layup by Gougis, two free throws by Erin Beadle (7 points), a free throw by Lauren Sende (5 points, 6 rebounds) and a three-pointer by Esther Lee (6 points). Westmont maintained its lead throughout the opening frame and took a 29-23 advantage into halftime.
A 9-1 run to start the second half put the Warriors in control of the contest. Gougis opened the half with a jumper and Sampson followed with a layup and jumper. After a free throw by Snelling, Sampson scored again before Lee drained a shot from downtown. The Warriors led by no less than 10 points the rest of the half.