Fresh off their big win against Holy Names, Menlo traveled to Simpson looking to make it two straight in their bid at a California Pacific Conference title. The Lady Oaks appeared to have control of the game, taking an early double digit lead in the second half, but the Redhawks found a way to comeback and eventually take the contest by a final of 79-68.
With the loss Menlo drops to 4-2 in conference, trailing Cal Maritime by two games for the top spot.
Sharp shooting propelled the Lady Oaks to a eleven point halftime lead. Menlo shot an outstanding 55 percent from the floor in the first half, including 3-of-4 from deep, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to lead it 43-34.
Early in the second frame the Lady Oaks were able to take their largest lead of the second half after Laurel Donnenwirth opened the stanza with a free throw to put Menlo on top 44-34. Donnenwirth finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Lady Oaks continued to maintain their lead until at around the 15 minute mark when Simpson found a way to get back into it. In a little over than a three and a half minute span between 16:56 to 13:09, the Redhawks used a 12-2 run to turn an eight point Menlo lead into a two point Simpson advantage as the Redhawks were on top 50-48.
Credit Menlo for bouncing back with a quick three pointer by Jolise Limcaco to take a one point lead, setting the tone for what would be an exciting contest down the stretch. Limcaco finished her night with a team high 16 points, including knocking in three from downtown. Three ties and four lead changes later, Simpson took a two point advantage, 61-59 with 6:15 left.
The Redhawks expanded on that mark to take a 70-63 lead with just over two minutes to go, behind strong play by sophomore forward Bekah Eppler who finished with a game high 30 points. The Lady Oaks would fight hard to get back in it with a mini 5-1 run which was capped off by an Erika Garcia bucket to cut it to a one possession game at 71-68 and only 1:01 to go. Garcia ended the evening with 14 points and six rebounds.
However that would be the last of Menlo's scoring, as the Redhawks took the final eight points of the game to win it 79-68.
The Lady Oaks will look to bounce back after the tough loss as they return home to take on William Jessup this Thursday, February 2nd. Tipoff is slated for 5:30pm.