With this year being the University of the Pacific women’s basketball team’s final year in the Big West conference, the Tigers are looking for a way to make it special.
Voted to finish second in the Big West in the preseason media polls, Pacific is off to a great start with a 12-2 overall record and a 2-0 start in conference.
Pacific won its first eight games of the season before losing to two incredible teams in Florida and Stanford, which was ranked No. 1 at the time. Currently, Pacific is on a five-game winning streak and has yet to lose at home, going 7-0.
The Tigers are a solid team in virtually every aspect, ranking first in the conference in scoring offense and fourth in scoring defense. On average, Pacific puts up 72.0 points per game and gives up 62.1 points per game.
“We try to be uptempo,” Head Coach Lynne Roberts said. “We try to force the issue, press and get up and down a lot.”
The team’s most noteworthy strength, however, is its balance, especially on the offensive end. Currently, the Tigers have three players averaging double-digit scoring.
“I think if you’re relying on one or two players and they have an off night, then you’re screwed,” Roberts said. “Thankfully, we’re lucky enough to have players where if one’s having an off night, we still can score.”
Leading Pacific is senior forward Kendall Rodriguez, who was voted to finish on the all-conference team in the preseason media polls. She averages 12.5 points per game.
Sophomore forward Kendall Kenyon averages a double-double with 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, the only player in the Big West to do so. She also ranks first in conference in field goal percentage at 56.8 percent and third in blocks with 1.5 per game.
Another important key for the Tigers is senior guard Erica McKenzie. Not only does she average 9.5 points per game, but she ranks first in assists to turnover ratio at 1.8. McKenzie is also a threat from the outside, making 2.3 triples per game.
Pacific next travels to Cal Poly Saturday.
A version of this article appeared on page 5 of January 11th, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.