Second-Quarter Outburst Pushes Lions Over Santa Clara, 61-50
LMU outscored Santa Clara 17-4 en route to its second straight home victory.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU women’s basketball team used a high-powered attack in the second quarter, outscoring Santa Clara 17-4 en route to a 61-50 victory Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion.
LMU (8-11, 3-5 WCC) suffocated Santa Clara (9-10, 4-4 WCC) in the second quarter, holding them to four points on 1-of-11 shooting, while the Lions scored nine of its 17 points in the frame off turnovers. The fourth quarter saw both teams pick up the tempo, as each squad notched their highest single-quarter shooting percentage of the game, but the Lions staved off a last-minute comeback to hold on for its third win in their last four games at Gersten Pavilion.
Leslie Lopez-Wood tallied a team-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, with nine of her total coming from beyond-the-arc. Jackie Johnson fell a rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine boards. Andee Velasco notched 10 points and dished out a game-high six assists, while Cheyanne Wallace added seven rebounds and seven points.
• Velasco exploded out of the gates, netting the first five points for the Lions before Santa Clara took the lead at 10-7 midway through the quarter. The Broncos eked out a six-point lead with two minutes left before a 6-0 run capped by a mid-range jumper from Cierra Belvin tied it up at 13-13 at the end of the opening quarter.
• Lopez-Wood and Johnson opened the second frame with back-to-back jumpers, thrusting the Lions to a four-point lead at 17-13 two minutes in. The Bronocs tied it up at 17-17 with 6:47 left in the second quarter before LMU erupted with a 13-0 run, led by Wallace with six points during the stretch, to take a 30-17 advantage at the end of the half.
• Lopez-Wood and Johnson accounted for all of the Lions points in the third quarter, as Lopez-Wood started the scoring with a 3-pointer and Johnson finished with five straight points to put the Lions in command, 38-24.
• The Lions used the three-ball in the fourth as Makenzie Cast and Lopez-Wood each connected on a pair from beyond-the-arc, pushing LMU to take its largest lead of the game, 46-28, with 5:09 left to play.
• Santa Clara reduced LMU's lead down to 10, but the Lions added nine points from the free throw line down the stretch as it sealed the 61-50 victory.
FROM COACH ELLIOTT
• "We mixed up our defense a lot and our kids did a great job tonight of being on the same page. Everyone was active and alert with what we were doing."
• "When your offense is really struggling, we were kind of sluggish tonight, I thought we kept playing really hard defensive and made every shot they took a tough shot."
• "A great team like Santa Clara is going to hit some shots, it always happens, to make it close. I thought we executed down the stretch, we got the ball in the right people’s hands. I'm really proud, tonight was a lot of heart and effort coming off a really really tough game against San Diego.
The Lions will head to Pacific for a 7 p.m. matchup on Thursday, Jan. 26 before returning to Gersten Pavilion on Saturday against BYU at 2 p.m. to kick off a three-game homestead.
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