SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Esther Lee drained five of eight three-pointers and tallied 24 points as No. 13 Westmont women's basketball (9-4) posted a 62-52 win over Bethesda on Friday night.
"That did not come easily tonight," said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore after the game. "They have great size inside. They were packing it the zone and making it hard for us to score from the interior. Thankfully, Esther was hitting from the outside and got us going in the first half."
Just three minutes and 45 seconds into the game, Westmont held a 15-2 lead with Lee contributing 11 points on three buckets from beyond the arc and a ten-foot jumper. The rest of the game proved to be closely contested with the Warriors holding no less than a five point lead and no more than a 15 point lead.
While the Warriors outshot the Flames 41.4 percent to 24.6 percent, the Flames controlled the boards 56 to 38.
"I thought we played some decent defense; we just didn't finish possessions with rebounding," said Moore. "Giving up 26 offensive rebounds is not going to get it done in the GSAC. I think this was a good preparation for the GSAC because they are scrappy, they're tall and they have some different weapons. I think we will play a similar team in Biola on Tuesday. They are a great team on the boards and have some great size inside. Hopefully, we can learn some things from tonight and be a little more efficient offensively."
The Warriors held a seven point lead at halftime 32-25, but, unlike the start of the game, came out flat to begin the second half.
"We gave up five offensive rebounds in the first minute and 20 seconds," noted Moore. "We obviously needed a new group in there. Our bench came in and gave us a spark. The five players that came off the bench were able to get momentum changed back in our direction. Karlie Storkson (6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks) was the leader in that with her energy."
A 6-0 run over the next three minutes restored an 11 point advantage (38-27) for the Warriors.
The game completed a two-month home stand for the Warriors and brought an end to the non-conference schedule. On Tuesday, the Warriors begin seven weeks of Golden State Athletic Conference play, opening at Biola.
Asked to assess her team's progress at this point in the season, Moore replied, "We have certainly shown flashes of being really good, but we have been inconsistent. As young as we are, and having people who have stepped into new roles, we need to find consistency. That will be the key to the GSAC season where you can't have any off night. If we find a way to be consistent and bring it every night, we have a shot to win on any given night."