First Road Win Comes at PCH Cup Rival Waves
Sophie Taylor poured in a career-high 27 points and Hazel Ramirez added 15 points and 10 assists.
Jan. 11, 2014
MALIBU - For the second straight year, the tide turned, literally, against the Pepperdine Waves. Behind a career-high 27 points from Sophie Taylor and the second career double-double for Hazel Ramirez, the LMU women's basketball team earned its first road victory of the season in a 76-64 final at Firestone Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
Last season, a 58-56 win in Malibu erased an 11-game road setback and propelled LMU towards a strong finish to Head Coach Charity Elliott's first season. The Lions (4-12, 1-4 WCC) will look for the same response this year as Saturday's win ended an 0-7 start on the road.
Taylor was nothing but incredible, hitting 10-of-13 from the field and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. The sophomore guard added eight rebounds and three blocks to her final stat line as she achieved the program's first 25+ point game since Alex Cowling poured in 25 points against UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 5, 2012.
Joining Taylor in double-figures were Hazel Ramirez, whose 15-point, 10-assist effort marked her second career double-double and third career double-digit assist total. In her first career start, Leslie Lopez-Wood chipped in 12 points, including a pair of threes.
Pepperdine (5-11, 1-4 WCC) was led by Bria Richardson's 21 points. Keitra Wallace had 17 points and Ea Shoushtari pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
After surviving a mid game Wave surge, including an 11-4 Pepperdine run to open the second half, the Lions banded together down the stretch to pull away for their third straight victory over their Wells Fargo PCH Cup rival.
Trailing 45-41 with 16:34 remaining in the second half, Lopez-Wood nailed her second three of the game, trimming the deficit to one. The teams traded buckets and a Williams free throw would push the lead back to two. But it was Taylor who would put the lead back into the Lions' hands for good with an old fashion three-point play at the 14:22 mark, giving LMU a 49-48 advantage.
Leading 59-56 with 8:15 on the clock, LMU would roll off five straight points, opening up an eight-point advantage. A pair of Taylor free throws followed by a Taylor Anderson jumper essentially put the game out of reach at 70-59 with 1:45 to go.
The Lions hit better than 45 percent from the field in the first half, including 5-of-10 from three, to carry a 37-34 advantage into the break.
Pepperdine hung around early due in large part to earning 14 trips to the charity stripe in the opening frame, hitting 10 of those chances. LMU went just 4-for-7 from the free throw line in the first half.
The Waves would open the game with a Wallace three and from there the battle begun as the teams traded the lead nine times while also holding five ties. A mini five-point run by Leslie Lopez-Wood Leslie opened up the largest lead to that point, 21-16, with 10:11 to go in the first half.
Two minutes later, a Ramirez three pushed the Lion lead to seven, 26-19, and a Taylor three made it at eight-point game, 29-21, with 7:29 on the clock. Using a 7-2 run late, the Waves cut the LMU lead to just one, 35-34, before a pair of Anderson free throws in the final seconds allowed the Lions to carry the three-point lead into the locker room.
The Lions finished the night shooting nearly 47 percent from the field and won the tight battle on the boards, 39-37. They also took full advantage of Pepperdine's giveaways, scoring 14 points off of the Waves 12 turnovers.
LMU continues its three-game WCC road swing on Thursday, Jan. 16, traveling to face the league's newest member, Pacific. Tip off in Stockton is scheduled for 7 p.m.