It was nothing but positives for the Menlo College basketball teams on Saturday as the women won their fourth straight Cal Pac Conference game and the men captured their first. Both are back in action this week looking to continue that success.
The Menlo women capped an impressive two-game Cal Pac home set as they made quick work of the visiting Pacific Union Pioneers on Saturday night, 87-41.
Menlo sophomore forward Laurel Donnenwirth made her presence felt in a big way, recording her seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"I made sure I got in there and got the rebounds and did what I needed to do in the minutes I had," said Donnenwirth.
Menlo had four players reach double digits in total points for the evening. Joining Donnenwirth were Jenna Marinaro with 13, Vanessa D'Amico with 12, and Sasha Brown who chipped in 10 points.
For the second consecutive game, head coach Shannon Osborne was able to go deep in her bench and get minutes from 12 different players. This is something Osborne was pleased with and feel will bode well for the Oaks down the stretch.
"As much as we can develop our depth, the better. The better they are, the better we are as a team. Plus they work hard every day in practice so it's a good opportunity for them to get some minutes and get a reward for working everyday," said Osborne.
The Oaks are now 4-0 in the conference (17-3 overall).
"It gives us good momentum going in to the rest of the season and we're well prepared so it should be a good finish the rest of the regular season," noted Donnenwirth.
Menlo will be back in action Wednesday when it travels to Santa Cruz for a rematch with the Banana Slugs at 6 p.m.
Menlo took care of business in Haynes-Prim Pavilion on Saturday night as the Oaks sent visiting Pacific Union home with its fourth consecutive loss.
The Oaks (1-3, 5-14) rallied around the strong performance of junior forward Keith Bowman, whose game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds led the Oaks to a 75-67 conference win.
Bowman credited much of their success to a marked size advantage and the injury bug, which has bitten Pacific Union College over the last week.
"They're a smaller team, (they're) banged up and only had seven guys tonight and we took advantage," said Bowman.
Menlo was in possession of a double-digit lead for much of the second half until the Pioneers threatened. Trevor Nogueira knocked down a big trey for the Pioneers, making the score 65-61 -- Menlo's smallest lead of the second half. A basket from John Smith and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line between Bowman and David Abittan made the difference in giving the Oaks the victory.
Free-throw shooting proved to be a major factor in the win for the Oaks as 25 of their 75 points came from the line. As a team, Menlo was 25-of-30 from the free-throw line (83 percent).
Abbitan came through with six crucial free throws down the stretch to help seal the victory and break a three-game losing skid for the Oaks.
Four Menlo players chipped in 10 or more points in the game. Joining Bowman was Jones with 10, Abbitan with 11, and Smith with 10 points.
While happy with collecting his first Cal-Pac win, Menlo head coach John Surface noted room for improvement in the coming week of practice.
"Defensively, I didn't think we played a great game tonight. I think we need to bounce back defensively and refocus our energy on that end of the floor to get ready to go Saturday," said Surface. "I think an ugly win is still a win and we got the first one under our belt and we're definitely happy about that."
The Oaks will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to take on the UC Merced Golden Bobcats at 7:30 p.m.