Jan. 10, 2013
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SANTA CLARA - Life on the road continues to be unkind for the LMU women's basketball team. Rallying back to within two points after trailing by as many as 13, the Lions were unable to climb all the way over the hump, falling 58-54 to Santa Clara Thursday at the Leavey Center.
The West Coast Conference loss drops the Lions to 7-9 overall and 1-2 in league play. They also remain winless on the road this season in six tries. Santa Clara moves to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the WCC.
Alex Cowling finished with a team-high 14 to go along with 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Her rebound mark leaves her 14 shy of the school record of 845, held by Adrienne Slaughter (2000-04).
Poor shooting plagued both squads early as the Lions went 10-for-33 from the field in the first half while the Broncos were just 8-for-27.
LMU jumped out to a 6-0 lead as Mackenzie Kerins knocked down a pair of jumpers and Deanna Johnson sank two free throws inside the 16:44 mark. Santa Clara finally got on the board courtesy a Nici Gilday layup with 15:33 on the clock.
Five straight points by Lindsey Leo brought the Broncos within one and a jumper by Gilday gave the home team its first lead of the night, 9-8, at the 13:54 mark.
Trailing 14-12, LMU scored six straight as Ashley Lovett came off the bench to hit back-to-back buckets while a Chelsea Barnes jumper made it 18-14. The Lions would lead 20-16 with three minutes remaining before the Broncos closed out the half on an 8-2 run to carry a 24-22 lead into the break.
Santa Clara carried that momentum into the second half, opening up a 41-28 lead with 11:47 to play. Trailing 52-40 with just under six minutes on the clock, the Lions began to slowly chip away, scoring seven straight, capped by a Hazel Ramirez three, trimming the lead to five, 52-47, with 4:39 remaining.
Following a Leo jumper, the Lions reeled off five straight points, capped by a Cowling layup, cutting to Bronco lead to just two, 54-52 with 1:06 remaining. LMU would get within two once more on a Kerins layup, but Megan Fulps sank four free throws in the final 21 seconds to secure the Bronco win.
Leo led Santa Clara with 21 points while Fulps chipped in 14, including a perfect 9-for-9 performance from the free-throw line.
The Lions continue their WCC road trip Saturday, facing San Diego, which fell 57-54 in overtime to BYU tonight. Tip off in Jenny Craig Pavilion is 2 p.m.