Menlo 61, Life Pacific 30
Date of competition: Thursday, January 24, 2019
In need of a bounce-back win, No. 13 Menlo College turned to one of its biggest strengths all season long: defense. Much-improved from an already solid 2017-18 season, this year's defense has been even a tick better, and it was on display Thursday night. Taking on Life Pacific University in San Dimas, the Oaks held the Warriors to under 10 points in all four quarters en route to a 61-30 victory. Menlo is 15-5 (6-4) and the Warriors are 1-19 (0-10).
The Oaks limiting the Warriors to 30 points was their best defensive showing since holding Bethany University to 24 points on February 24, 2010. Even more impressive about that win was the fact that it was in the opening round of the Cal Pac Championships. Menlo was no stranger to defensive showings that season, also holding the Bruins to 25 points on February 6 of that year, and allowing just 24 to Arizona Christian on December 4, 2009.
Inside the Numbers
Neither team shot particularly well on Thursday night, but Menlo held the Warriors to an improbable 22.6 percent from the field, 2-13 from beyond the arc. The Oaks three-point defense ranked 10th in the NAIA entering the contest, and they showed why on this evening. Menlo also out-rebounded the Warriors, 61-47, with two players in double figures: Aliyah Brantley (13), and Anya Gamez (11, a career-best).
Show Me the Depth
At times, the Oaks have struggled to produce points from the reserves, but that was not an issue on Thursday night. With six different players seeing significant minutes off the bench, they combined for 30 of the Oaks 61 points, or nearly half. Aliyah Arcillas led the charge off the bench, going 3-6 from three-point range for her nine points on the evening. Shay Gibbons tied a career-best with six points and she was joined by Jillian Heichel and Victoria Iafeta, who set a career-best with her six.
The Oaks remain in Southern California for a rematch with Hope International. When these two met in Atherton in November, the Royals took the Oaks to overtime before Menlo escaped with a win in their first GSAC game of the year. Tip-off for this Saturday afternoon match is scheduled for 2 pm.
-- Menlo Athletics
posted by Menlo Athletics on Jan 25, 2019 at 12:23 am
|Add your own comment or photos
Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.