Jessup women get conference victory over Hope

Warriors break three-game slump
By: Brianna Campbell for The Placer Herald/News Messenger
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The William Jessup University women’s basketball team stepped on the Warriors’ Horton Court for the second time this week against Hope International University Saturday. The first time was a narrow 63-56 loss to undefeated and No. 1 Vanguard Thursday.

Against HIU, the Warriors came back in the third quarter on a 29-10 run to defeat the Royals 68-58. It was WJU’s first Golden State Athletic Conference victory of the young season, improving its record to 10-9 overall.

"This team really deserved to get into the win column today," second-year head coach Kurt Westendorp said. "We've played very well to open GSAC play against the preseason, top three teams in the conference our first three games. Some teams get discouraged with falling short; this team has a lot of toughness and it showed today."

Neck-and-neck through the first quarter, the Warriors held a 16-12 advantage in the opening 10 minutes of play. The Royals did not score until after Olivia Luu’s 3-point shot put Jessup up 9-0. 

The Royals came alive in the second quarter, outscoring Jessup 15-8 for a 27-24 advantage going into the break. 

"I'm really proud of how our team responded coming out of halftime," Westendorp commented. "We showed a lot of character being able to bounce back from a flat first half."

But it was a dynamite third quarter on home court for the Warriors, where they held the Royals scoreless the first three minutes of the half, going on a 13-0 run to take a double-digit lead, 37-27. In that run, senior Ashlyn Jones scored her first three baskets of the game. 

Outscoring the Royals 29-10, the Warriors had a comfortable lead headed into the final quarter, 53-37.Hope continued to battle, cutting the lead to under double figures with three minutes remaining, but Jessup defended Horton Court, going 6-for-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch.

Luu led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds; teammates Lily Hagerty and Jones contributed 13 points each.

The Warriors clinched their first GSAC win of the season, heading into a single-game week ahead taking on Menlo College on Saturday in Atherton, Calif., 5:30 pm.