Jan. 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES - A solid defensive effort against one of the nation's best three-point shooting teams helped get a huge monkey off the back of the LMU women's basketball team as the Lions claimed a 64-54 WCC win over Santa Clara Saturday at Gersten Pavilion.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for LMU, which improves to 5-14 overall and 1-6 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara dropped its fourth straight, falling to 8-11 overall and 1-5 in the WCC.
Trailing 8-4 early, LMU went on a 10-0 run, which included back-to-back jumpers by Taylor Anderson, to take a 14-8 lead seven minutes in. Back-to-back threes by Ricki Radanovich and one by Alyssa Shoji put Santa Clara briefly in the lead, 17-16 at the 10-minute mark, but 11 straight points gave the Lions their first double-digit lead, 27-17 at the 5:02 mark.
The Broncos opened the second half on a 10-1 run, cutting the spread to three, 34-31, in favor of the Lions. Four straight points by Mackenzie Kerins helped LMU push the lead back to 10, 45-35 with 11 minutes remaining. But the Broncos were not finished yet, as a Radanovich three capped an eight-point run that cut LMU's lead to 45-43 at the 8:10 mark.
Santa Clara made one final run, as back-to-back layups by Radanovich and Meagan Fulps made it 55-52 LMU. But Hazel Ramirez and Cowling combined to hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 1:18.
Cowling finished with a team-high 21 points while Anderson added a career-high nine points. Ramirez also chipped in nine points and Courtney Collishaw pulled down a career-high 11 boards.
Lindsay Leo led Santa Clara with 23 points and eight rebounds while Radanovich added 15 points, including three threes. The Lions' defense was able to keep Shoji, who ranks No. 2 in the nation in three-pointers per game, to just three points on 1-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Up next for LMU is its longest road trip of the season, beginning at Gonzaga on Thursday, Jan. 26. The three-game swing continues Saturday, Jan. 28 at Portland and concludes on Feb. 2 at San Francisco.
- GO LIONS -