The Pioneers (1-1) came into the game motivated after losing their season opener Nov. 27 to Canoga Park Armenian General Benevolent Union, 42-36.
"Coming off a game, and a loss, where the main problem was effort, consistency and defense, we worked really hard on those things in practice to be ready for this game," Providence Coach Andrew Bencze said. "I was very pleased with the way we played defense today. The girls realized the coaches weren't happy with the effort last week, and more importantly they weren't happy with the effort as well."
In the game, Providence forced 29 turnovers. Applying the full-court pressure in the first quarter, Holy Family (1-2) had trouble bringing the ball up court and setting up for shots.
Senior guard Nicole Mungus led the defensive barrage for Providence, forcing eight turnovers — five in the first quarter.
"Coach really focuses on our defense, and we know if we have good defense our offense will flow," Mungus said. "We like to play tough defense."
The Pioneers only put on the sustained pressure for the first quarter, and it paid dividends. Providence helped force 11 turnovers in the opening stanza, as it was able to jump out to a 19-2 advantage.
The Gaels didn't score a basket from the field in the first quarter. Instead, their points came on single free throws from Charise Talaro and Kassandra Mountufar.
Although Bencze called off the dogs defensively in the second quarter, the Gaels still turned the ball over eight times. Holy Family was finally able to convert a field goal when Talaro made a layup with 2:28 remaining in the first half. However, three free throws from Talaro (eight points) were the only other points the Gaels could muster.
As a result, Providence outscored its opponent, 20-5, in the second and went into half with a 39-7 lead.