Lions Drop Heartbreaker at Portland

Mackenzie Kerins matched her career-high with 13 rebounds.

Feb. 2, 2013

Final Stats

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PORTLAND - The season's second meeting between the LMU women's basketball team and Pilots of Portland was no less thrilling than the first. But, unfortunately for the Lions, the final result was also similar as they fell 65-63 Saturday afternoon at the Chiles Center.

The loss drops the Lions to 8-14 overall and 2-7 in West Coast Conference play. Portland improved to 9-13 overall and 4-5 in WCC action with their fourth win in their last three outings.

Eugene, Ore., native Mackenzie Kerins was looking to play hero for the Lions, scoring back-to-back layups - the second off her own steal - in the final minute of play. Her four straight points put the Lions on top 63-62 with 26 seconds remaining.

But the Pilots Jasmine Wooton responded with a layup and the Lions would turn the ball over on the following possession. Forced to foul, LMU put Alexis Byrd on the line for Portland. Byrd hit the first of two from the charity stripe, leaving the door open for a final LMU shot, but Deanna Johnson's jumper rimmed out and the Pilots held on for the two-point victory.

Hazel Ramirez led all scorers with 19 points while Kerins recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The junior forward also dished three assists, blocked three shots and came up with a huge charge late in the game.

Johnson netted 11 points for the second straight game while dishing out a career-high five assists and Alex Cowling chipped in 10 points.

Kari Luttinen paced Portland with 15 points while Ellen Nurmi had 14 off the bench, including four triples.

The two teams combined to go 0-for-8 to start the game before Portland's Alexis Byrd connected on a layup at the 16:51 mark. Cowling responded with a layup of her one on the ensuing possession as the teams began to warm up offensively.

A 7-0 run midway through the half put the Pilots in the lead 16-11 with 8:52 to play. But the Lions responded with a 7-0 run of their own, including five straight points by Ramirez, to take an 18-16 just 44 seconds later.

Four straight points by Johnson followed by a pair of Ramirez free throws gave LMU its largest lead of the half, 26-22, with 3:16 on the clock and the Lions carried a 30-28 advantage into the halftime break.

An 8-0 run early in the second half gave the Lions their largest lead of the game, 42-32 with 15:51 to play, but the Pilots clawed their way back, eventually evening the score, 45-45, at the 12:25 mark.

In the midst of what became an 11-0 run, the Pilots took their first lead of the second half on a Nurmi layup and stretched out a 59-51 lead with 4:58 to play.

An 8-0 Lmu run knotted the scored for the eighth and final time, 59-59. A layup and free throw by Luttinen gave Portland a three-point cushion before Kerin's pair of layups gave LMU a brief one-point lead with 43 seconds on the clock.

The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion on Thursday, Feb. 7, beginning a three-game West Coast Conference homestand by hosting Santa Clara at 7 p.m.



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