Fullerton, CA- A strong defensive effort by No. 21 Hope International helped them solve No. 12 Westmont as they won 60-49 on Saturday. Defensively, Hope International held Westmont to just 30% shooting while also forcing 18 turnovers. Offensively, the Royals won on the strength of five players scoring in double figures.
Neither team could find their shooting rhythm early on. The Warriors (11-6, 2-2 GSAC) opened the scoring with a three but it took almost three minutes for that to happen. The Royals (14-4, 3-1 GSAC) did not find the scoreboard until senior Andrina Rendon converted a pair of free throws about four and a half minutes into the game.
Both teams converted their next shot attempts after the Rendon free throws and Westmont held a 5-4 lead. On the next possession for Hope International, junior Brittany Bauman converted her second basket in a row to give HIU a brief 6-5 edge- their first lead of the game.
That sparked an exchange of lead changes and ties. Junior Krystyn Jacobs gave HIU an 11-9 advantage after a pair of made free throws with 11:50 to go in the first half.
However, Westmont scored the next six points to grab a 15-11 lead. Despite not leading by more than six points, Westmont would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the half.
At the break, with the Warriors ahead 24-22, nobody had scored more than seven points which was accomplished by three players - HIU's Rendon and Westmont's Esther Lee and Kelsie Sampson.
Out of the break, Westmont pushed their edge back to six and were up 31-26 with exactly 16 minutes left in the game.
But HIU responded with a 10-0 run over the course of the next five minutes to move ahead 36-31. During the run, Rendon and Junior Krystal Canning both converted huge "and one baskets". Senior Shawna Staves scored the first two points of the run and had big impact defensively during that stretch.
The Royals never looked back out scoring the Warriors 29-18 from the 31-31 tie in the middle of the 10-0 run through the end of the game.
When all was said and done, Rendon had delivered her sixth straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Canning ended her evening with 11 points. Bauman, Staves, and Jacobs all scored 10 points.
Westmont's Sampson finished the night with a team high 13 points and game high 14 rebounds.
Staves and Jacobs were both a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line where HIU as a team nailed 25-28 free throw attempts.
HIU outrebounded Westmont 44-28 with Staves adding nine rebounds behind Rendon's 10 boards for the Royals.
Head Coach Bill Crammer had this to say after the Hope International women's basketball team earned just their second win ever over Westmont, "Great defensive effort by our entire team tonight. Westmont has a great program and we came into this game excited about our chance to play them. Our balanced scoring with five ladies in double figures and the fact that we out rebounded them were the key stats for us tonight. However, there is no rest in this conference. Biola on Tuesday and Vanguard on Saturday will both be strong challenges that we need to be prepared for. This was a great team win."
On Tuesday, Hope International will indeed find themselves at Biola in La Mirada for a 5:30 pm tip-off. Westmont will host The Master's in Santa Barbara on Tuesday at 5:30 pm as well.