RV Women’s Basketball upsets #1 Vanguard 76-66 in first ever win against Lions

Women’s Basketball upsets #1 Vanguard

ATHERTON, Calif. – Saturday afternoon was the biggest test of the season for RV Menlo College Women’s Basketball. The Oaks squared off against the top-ranked team in the country, Vanguard University, a team that had not lost a regular season game in 11 months. Despite all the pressure of facing the top team in the nation, the Oaks handled the adversity well and tamed the Lions on both sides of the ball. With a loud and proud Haynes-Prim Pavilion crowd backing them, the Oaks upset Vanguard with a 76-66 win. Menlo improves to 15-3 and 3-1 in GSAC games while the Lions are now 12-1 and also 3-1 in conference games.

First Time for Everything

Saturday’s win for the Oaks featured a bevy of firsts for the program and for Menlo Athletics as a whole. For starters, the win is women’s basketball’s first every win against a top-ranked team, and it represents the first time any Menlo College varsity sport has beaten the number one team. It was also the first win in program history against Vanguard, with the Oaks having lost the four previous times the teams had met. Vanguard had not lost in regular season play since losing to Biola University on February 14, 2017 in GSAC action last season.

29 Seconds

The Oaks only trailed for 29 seconds in this contest, and it was the first 29 seconds of the game that saw Menlo behind on the scoreboard. Vanguard got the first three points of the contest but an Aliyah Brantley free throw and a layup from Ashlyn Monk got the Oaks on the board to tie the game, and they would never trail again. The Oaks led for 35:52 in the contest, with just 3:39 of an even score.

The Best Help Beat the Best

The Oaks received several big performances to help take down Vanguard by a ten-point margin, led by a double-double from Michelis. She scored 17 points on 6-9 shooting and hauled in a game-best 16 rebounds, her second-best total of the season. Brantley continued to play well in the post with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Monk scored 13 points and made three of the biggest threes of the game, and Celina Pagan scored 11 with three steals on the defensive side.

Tense Moments

The Oaks and Lions were tied 51-51 early in the fourth quarter when Menlo decided that enough was enough and the game would not stay tied for much longer. Monk hit a layup with 7:21 remaining to put the Oaks up and they would never trail again, but Monk wasn’t done there. With a 55-52 lead, Monk pulled back from the left wing to knock down a three to make it 58-52 and did so again with 4:37 left to make it 63-56. Alexis Delovio hit a pair of free throws and Michelis hit a pair of layups to cap off a 10-0 run and the Oaks led by 14, their largest lead of the game.

Among Other Numbers

The Oaks outshot the Lions 42.1% to 35.3%, the lowest output of the year for Vanguard…Menlo outrebound the Lions as well, finishing a +4 in that department…for a team that turns the ball over a lot, the Oaks only coughed the ball up 13 times…Menlo neutralized the best player on the Lions, Amber Alexander, to the tune of just 7 points and 5 rebounds.

Up Next

The Oaks will be able to celebrate for a week, as their next game is not until January 20th against William Jessup for the annual Sasha Brown Memorial Game. Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion.