Lions Win Defensive Battle, 68-60, Over Pilots
Alex Cowling's game-high 30 points helped lead LMu to its second win in the last three games.
Jan. 28, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. - A physical, defensive battle from the opening tip, the LMU women's basketball team prevailed over the University of Portland, 68-60, in West Coast Conference action Saturday at the Chiles Center.
The win moves the Lions to 6-15 on the season and 2-7 in the WCC while Portland falls to 8-15 overall and 1-8 in league.
LMU held what seemed like a comfortable 12-point lead with 5:40 to play, but the Pilots were not finished, cutting the spread to four with just under three minutes remaining. But Hazel Ramirez, Taylor Anderson and Alex Cowling each sank a pair of free throws in the final 60 seconds as the Lions held on for their second win in the last three games.
In a battle of the top two scorers in the WCC, Cowling prevailed over Natalie Day, pouring in a game-high 30 points, the fourth time she has reached the 30-point mark this season. Day would finish with 14 points in 25 minutes after being plagued by foul trouble for most of the first half.
It only took nearly 10 minutes, but the lid finally came off the basket midway through the first half and when it did, the Lions took advantage. After opening the game 1-for-18 from the field, LMU went 7-for-9 over a four-minute span to take a 22-10 lead over the Pilots. The Lions were able to stretch that to as many as 14 before taking a 35-22 lead into the break.
Cowling, who could not find the mark on her first seven shot attempts, led the charge with nine points during that span. She finished the half with 17 points, including 6-for-8 from the field after the 0-for-7 start.
The Lions were not the only ones to struggle offensively in the first half as Portland did not hit its first field goal until the 15:35 mark. The Pilots committed 11 first-half turnovers and were plagued by foul trouble as Day saw just six minutes of action in the period after collecting her second foul at the 12-minute mark.
A three pointer by Monica DeAngelis opened up a 48-33 lead for LMU with 13:36 remaining, but back-to-back Lion turnovers and 9-0 Pilot run, including five by Day, cut the lead to just six, 48-42.
Holding just a five point lead at the 8:47 mark, Cowling scored six straight points for LMU and Mackenzie Kerins added a free throw to push the lead back to double-digits, 57-45, with just under six to play.
The Pilots were not finished, however, as a 10-2 run capped by two layups and a free throw by Amy Pupa, cut LMU's lead to just four with 2:45 to play.
Joining Cowling in double-figures was Ramirez with 11. DeAngelis came off the bench to chip in nine points in just eight minutes of play, going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. The Lions also got six points from Courtney Collishaw and five points and nine rebounds from Kerins.
Four Portland players reached double figures including Day and ReZina TecleMariam with 14, Kari Luttinen with 11 and Pupa with 10.
The Lions conclude their three-game road trip on Thursday, Feb. 2 at San Francisco.
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