SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Loyola Marymount women's basketball team (11-3, 3-0 WCC) moved to 3-0 in conference play by defeating the Santa Clara Broncos (4-9, 0-3 WCC) 65-51 on Thursday night at the Leavey Center. Tonight's win was a total team effort from start to finish, as nine Lions contributed in the scoring column and 11 players got minutes in the win.
The game started off close as LMU held just a three-point lead (18-15) after the first quarter, but the Lions took over in the second period, holding the Broncos to just four points in the frame and scoring 22 of their own to take a commanding 40-19 lead at halftime. Gabby Green continued her strong play, stuffing the stat sheet as usual with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals through the first two quarters.
The Lions continued to control the pace in the third, outscoring the Broncos 17-11 in the quarter and held a 57-30 lead heading into the final frame. Santa Clara went on to outscore LMU 21-8 in the fourth, but the Lions reserves who finished out the contest held strong to secure the victory.
Three Lions finished with double-figure scoring, as Green led the way with 11 points, five boards, four assists and two steals. Andee Velasco added 10 points and a game-high-tying seven assists while Makenzie Cast finished with 10 points (3-5 3FG), three assists and two blocks. Bree Alford nearly tallied a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, while Cierra Belvin added nine points and two steals for the Lions.
LMU outscored Santa Clara 32-17 in the paint on the night. The Lions shot 44.4 percent (8-of-18) while holding the Broncos to 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from long range. LMU also dished out 19 assists in the win.
Dru Toleafoa led the Broncos in scoring with 11 points, while Morgan McGwire was the game's rebounding leader with 11 to go along with nine points.
"I thought we had spurts tonight that were as good as we've had this year," Lions head coach Charity Elliott said. "I loved how we moved the ball, shared the ball. We had way too many breakdowns. We knew Santa Clara was going to keep fighting and clawing, and they came back and had a great fourth quarter. We just have to sharpen up. We have to learn how to play 40 minutes of basketball. But I'm really proud of our effort and I thought we played really, really good team basketball for a significant amount of time."
Following tonight's game, the Lions travel to Spokane, Wash. to battle the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs are the only other undefeated team in WCC play.
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