SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Kelsey Sampson made 13 of 33 shots from the floor and nine of 11 from the charity stripe to lead Westmont women's basketball to a 73-59 win over Dordt of Iowa (8-7). Sampson's 35 points is a career high for the senior forward, exceeding the 33 points she scored on December 16 against Great Falls. She missed a double-double by one, finishing with nine rebounds.


"Kelsey was able to get us going on a night when we were having a hard time putting the ball in the basket from the perimeter," said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore.


An early layup by Esther Lee (6 points) gave the Warriors a lead which they held for the first nine minutes of the game. With 10:23 to play, however, the Defenders' Abby Chapman tied the game at 12 with a three-pointer. Dordt then held the lead until just under four minutes to play when Lauren Sende (5 points, 3 rebounds) scored on a layup to make it a 20-20 game. Sampson scored the next four points, all on free throws. The Warriors ended the first half with a 29-25 advantage.


The second half started with a three-pointer by Kara Van Dyke (11 points, 8 rebounds). After a free throw by Westmont's Karlie Storkson (3 points, 5 rebounds), a Kayla Broekhuis (21 points, 4 rebounds) layup tied the game at 30 with 18:42 remaining on the clock. Over the next minute and one-half, an 8-2 run by the Warriors gave Westmont a lead they would not relinquish.


"Erin Beadle had an unbelievable game," touted Moore. "She had 13 rebounds, seven points, five assists and no turnovers. She was our spark plug tonight. I was impressed with her play and her leadership on the court."


Westmont's Celina Gougis added nine points, seven rebounds and three assists. Mycah Hulst, Dordt's 6-3 sophomore center, finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds.


In the first game of the day, San Diego Christian claimed a 64-62 win over UC Merced on a three-point buzzer beater by Gabriele Concepcion (8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists).


Two free throws by UC Merced's Maya Campo (14 points, 3 assists) gave the Bobcats a 62-61 lead with 12 seconds remaining in the game. As they had done all game, UC Merced employed a full-court press to keep the Hawks from advancing the ball. However, Alexia Davison (11 points, 7 rebounds) drove from half court to the basket and then passed outside to Concepcion in the corner. The final buzzer sounded as Concepcion's shot sailed toward the rim.


San Diego Christian's Briana Martinez led all scorers with 16 points. Heather Serven added 11 points and four assists for the Hawks. UC Merced was led by Shelby Howard with 15 points and three assists. Leticia Oceguera added 11 points, six assists and three rebounds.


Westmont will waste no time getting back on the court in the new year. On Thursday, January 2, Westmont will host the Thunderbirds of British Columbia in a game that begins at noon.