Menlo women upset in semifinal of Cal Pac hoops tourney


The 13th-ranked Menlo College women's basketball team had its run of three straight Cal Pac Conference tournament titles end in stunning fashion.

The Oaks were upset by fourth-seeded UC Merced, 51-49, in the semifinals of the conference tournament at Cal Maritime in Vallejo on Sunday.

Menlo (22-5) led by 22 points after scoring the first seven points of the second half, and then seemed to find a black hole of basketball. The Oaks shot under 22 percent (5 of 23) in the second half while the Bobcats (13-11) were 16 of 34 for just over 47 percent.

Cal Pac Player of the Year Laurel Donnenwirth scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Menlo. Aaliyah Sowards added 10 points.

The Oaks went on a 17-0 run to open a 29-13 edge with just under four minutes to play in the first half.

Tori Conley made one of two free throws to put Menlo ahead, 38-16, with 18:29 remaining to play in the contest. The Oaks were outscored, 45-11, the rest of the way.

UC Merced tied the game at 49 with 1:23 remaining. The Oaks missed one shot and turned the ball over twice before the Bobcats scored the game winner with six seconds left.

UC Merced meets La Sierra, the third seed, in the championship final on Tuesday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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