NEWBERG, Ore. – Senior wing Arianna Mohsenian poured in 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, leading the George Fox University Bruins to a 79-57 win over the Corban University Warriors in a battle of nationally-ranked teams in the women's basketball season opener for both teams Tuesday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center's Miller Gym.
George Fox was ranked No. 3 in the nation at the NCAA Division III level in both the D3hoops.com and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA pre-season polls, while Corban was No. 16 in the NAIA Division II pre-season predictions. Both teams started off hot, the Bruins sinking their first three shots to build an 8-4 lead and the Warriors hitting four their first five tries to take a 9-8 advantage two-and-a-half minutes into the game.
That was the only lead the visitors would have, however, as Mohsenian hit a layup for a 10-9 George Fox lead with 16:55 left in the half, and the Bruins never trailed again. Mohsenian's score ignited a 26-4 Bruin run over a nine-and-a-half-minute span, capped by a three-pointer by freshman Jami Roos, that made it 34-13 with 7:29 to go. Another outburst of 8-1, sealed by a Mohsenian three, gave the home team its largest lead of the period at 41-14 with 4:28 remaining. George Fox led 43-23 at the break.
Corban scored the first eight points of the second half in the first four minutes on two goals apiece by Tess Bennett and Tara Vanweerdhuizen to close within 12 points at 45-33, but a Hannah Munger layup slowed the comeback. A jumper by Emily Tsugawa brought the Warriors within 11 at 48-37 with 14:19 to play, but that was Corban's final threat as the Bruins reacted with nine unanswered points over the next 85 seconds, including a three and a jumper by Mohsenian, to make it a 20-point game again at 57-37.
The Bruins eventually built a 32-point lead of 79-47 on a driving layup by Kylee Parker with 3:02 to go. The Warriors made the score more respectable with a 10-0 run to close the game.
Mohsenian hit four of five three-point attempts en route to her game-high 20 for the Bruins, and also had seven rebounds and four steals. Roos added 16 points in her college debut, including a pair of threes, while Munger and Keisha Gordon scored 10 points each. Munger made it a double-double with 10 rebounds, blocked three shots, and handed out four assists, as did Hayley Cusick.
Vanweerdhuizen, also playing in her first college game, posted a double-double of 12 points and 12 boards to lead the Warriors, and Bennett added 12 points. Elizabeth Downs had a game-high five assists. Katie Steigleman, the pre-season pick to win Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year honors, was held to five points on 2-of-7 shooting and was in early foul trouble, but did wind up with four steals.
NEXT: George Fox (1-0) hosts Northwest University (Wash.) Saturday at 6:00 p.m., to be followed by the Bruin men in their home opener against the Northwest men at 8:00 p.m. ... Corban (0-1) hosts Simpson University Friday at 5:30 p.m.