Lions Take No. 22 Zags to the Brink
Deanna Johnson scored a career-high 25 points, including draining three free throws to force overtime against the No. 22 ranked Zags.
Jan. 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Battling all the way back from a 15-point deficit, to lead by as many as three late in regulation, the LMU women's basketball team took No. 22 ranked Gonzaga to the brink Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion.
Deanna Johnson would force overtime by calmly draining three free-throws with just 0.6 seconds remaining. But the Zags (17-3, 7-1 WCC) would score the first three points in overtime and hit 12-of-13 from the charity stripe in the five-minute frame to hold off the Lions (5-14, 2-6 WCC) in a 91-82 final.
Johnson came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points, including a 9-for-11 performance from the free-throw line. Leslie Lopez-Wood was one shy of her career-high, finishing with 17 points, including four threes. Hazel Ramirez had 16 points before fouling out of the game with 7:41 to go and Mackenzie Kerins chipped in 10.
Gonzaga's Haiden Palmer led all scorers with 32 points. Also in double figures for the Zags were Sunny Greinacher (14), Lindsay Sherbert (12) and Danielle Walters (10).
The teams battled back and forth through the opening 14 minutes. Five straight points by Johnson gave LMU its largest lead of the half, 13-9, with 13:05 to go.
A three by Sherbert with 9:38 on the clock put Gonzaga on top 19-15. But moments later, Lopez-Wood would nail a trey of her own for the game's third tie, 21-21. The Lions would take a two-point advantage at the six-minute mark on a Mackenzie Kerins layup, but the Zags would close out the half on a 19-4 run to carry a 44-31 lead into the break.
Gonzaga would score the first bucket of the second half, opening up their largest lead of the game, 46-31. But the Lions would respond, using a 10-1 run to trim the spread down to six, 47-41, at the 15:03 mark.
Eight straight points by Ramirez made it 53-51 Gonzaga with 10:40 remaining and a Lopez-Wood three at 10:10 gave the Lions their first lead since the 11:28 mark of the first half.
The battle resumed from there. Two free throws by Greinacher knotted the score for the sixth time, 59-59 with 7:17 to play. Trailing by four, it was LMU's turn to tie the game with three minutes remaining as back-to-back layups by Emily Ben-Jumbo made it 67-67.
Four more lead changes would ensue before two more free throws by Greinacher put Gonzaga on top 75-72 with four seconds remaining. Looking to tie the game from deep, Johnson dribbled the length of the court, stopped at the arc and went up for the shot. The foul on the shot sent Johnson to the line with 0.6 on the clock. The sophomore sank all three chances, sending the game in to extra time.
The Lions shot nearly 46 percent from the field, including 8-of-19 from three (42 percent). Gonzaga would shoot 44 percent for the game, earning 12 more shot opportunities than the Lions, due in large part to their 22-10 offensive rebounding edge. The Zags netted 30 second-chance points, as well as 32 points off of LMU's 23 turnovers.
LMU returns to action Saturday, hosting Portland in a 2 p.m. tilt in Gersten Pavilion. The 2003-04 West Coast Conference Champion LMU women's basketball team will be honored at halftime. Special $5 tickets to the game are available by using the promo code WBB10YR at lmulions.com/tickets.
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