Women's Basketball: Bednar paces Lions

Senior nets career-best 30 points to help No. 1 Vanguard top No. 9 The Master's on the road.

February 04, 2014|By Barry Faulkner

SANTA CLARITA — The riddle of how to defeat the Vanguard University women's basketball team added another degree of difficulty Tuesday as the visiting Lions defeated The Master's College, 99-89.

The top-ranked Lions (18-0, 7-0 in conference) opened a two-game lead after the first round of conference play by dropping the No. 9-ranked Mustangs to 17-4, 5-2, behind a career-high 30 points from 6-foot-3 senior center Leigha Bednar.

Bednar, making her eighth start of the season, had scored 70 points in her first 16 games, for an average of 4.4 per contest. But on the finishing end of some pick-and-roll plays, frequent dribble penetration by VU guards, a handful of entry passes over the defense, some put-backs, and three jumpers ranging from eight to 17 feet, Bednar was 13 of 17 from the floor. Bednar also made four of five foul shots, collected seven rebounds and one blocked shot to emerge as the Lions' latest game-plan wrecker.


With Bednar dominating inside against a TMC squad that has just one player taller than 6-0, the Lions shot 55.4% from the field (41 for 74), including 21 for 31 in the second half (67.7%).

Senior All-American Nicole Ballestero added 26 points, including making four of seven from three-point range, while senior point guard Taylor Belmont and sophomore sharpshooter Samantha Doucette added 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Belmont, who fed Bednar consistently, finished with 11 assists and added four rebounds and two steals.

Doucette had six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while junior Ashleigh Anderson rounded out the starters with four points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Sophomore Jordie Smith was five for six from the field, including two for three from threedom, to chip in 12 points in 17 reserve minutes.

The Lions, who took a 48-36 halftime lead, upped the advantage to as many as 21 in the second half, continually hitting shots to exploit the increasingly gambling defense by the Mustangs.

The visitors had a 28-13 rebounding advantage at halftime, including 14 offensive boards, and finished with a 44-32 bulge in that department.

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