SAN DIEGO — Nothing was easy for Pepperdine in its West Coast Conference women's tournament semifinal Friday night, least of all for guard Damaris Hinojosa.
The 5-foot-10 junior once again battled pain, the result of playing this season with three bulging disks in her back, but she made big plays down the stretch to carry the Waves to an 82-77 victory over San Francisco before 1,207 at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Hinojosa, who has put off having surgery until after the season, scored six of her team's last eight points on her way to a game-high 22 as Pepperdine advanced to the tournament final for the third time in four years. The top-seeded Waves (22-7) will play second-seeded Santa Clara (21-8) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for the WCC's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
"It was a real gutsy performance," said Pepperdine Coach Mark Trakh. "She shouldn't even be playing with the pain she has."