Women's Basketball

Cowling Tops 20 Again but LMU Can't Halt Skid

Senior Lisa Helmers hit five threes against Pepperdine. (Photo by Scott Cunningham)
Senior Lisa Helmers hit five threes against Pepperdine. (Photo by Scott Cunningham)

Feb. 6, 2010

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LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Alex Cowling topped 20 points for the fifth time in the last seven games but Pepperdine used a balanced attack for a 72-62 victory in a West Coast Conference game on Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions (9-13, 2-6 WCC) drop their sixth in a row as the Waves (14-8, 5-3 WCC) sweep the season series.

Cowling finished the contest with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor and a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. In fact, as a team, the Lions were unblemished from the stripe, knocking down all 18 of their attempts to set a new school record. Cowling added six rebounds and has now reached 20 points in five WCC contests and seven overall on the year. She was joined in double figures by senior Lisa Helmers, who continues to heat up with her second straight game of hitting four or more threes. Helmers had the best shooting game of her season, sinking 7-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-6 from three-point range on her way to 19 points. In doing so, she moved within 10 three-pointers of Amanda Patton's school record of 154 three-pointers made. Junior Renahy Young added 10 points to move into seventh place on LMU's career scoring list, passing Tricia Gibson (1988-91).

Cowling and Helmers combined to go 13-for-20 from the floor but the rest of the team went just 6-for-33 as the Lions shot 35.8% (19-for-53) overall. In addition to the perfect 18-of-18 at the line, LMU sank 30% (6-for-20) from three-point range.

Miranda Ayim led four Waves in double figures with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocked shots while Jazmine Jackson added 20 points and five assists. Shay Cooney-Williams chipped in 12 points and Katie Menton had 11 as Pepperdine shot 57% in the second half to finish at 47.5% (28-for-59) overall. The Waves hit 35.7% (5-of-14) from long-range and 73.3% (11-of-15) at the line while holding a 35-30 rebounding edge.

The Lions took it to the Waves at the beginning, charging hard to the basket to begin the game on a 10-2 run thanks to eight points in the paint, including four from Cowling. Pepperdine soon settled down, pulling back to 12-11 on Skye Barnett's layup. LMU maintained its lead until the 6:14 mark of the half, when Jackson's three from the corner put the Waves up 18-17. That was part of a 9-0 Pepperdine run that extended into a 16-2 run as LMU suffered through two different spurts of three minutes without a basket and the Waves built their lead to 27-20. LMU would not hold a lead again.

Ayim came out of the break with six quick points to help Pepperdine turn a 31-26 halftime lead into 39-28, the largest by either side to that point. After Cowling and Young both scored to get the Lions back within seven, the Waves continued to pull away through Ayim and pressure defense, building the advantage to 46-32 with 12:36 left.

LMU started to take advantage of a lop-sided foul count as the Lions were in the bonus with 10:29 remaining. However, Pepperdine was able to convert on the other end, shooting well over 60% for the first 12 minutes of the half, to keep the lead in double digits.

Pepperdine led 62-47 before a 7-0 run from the Lions cut it to eight. Cowling started the spurt with a pair of free throws before Helmers knocked down her third three of the game and Cowling beat everyone down the floor for a fastbreak layup. However, Pepperdine quickly pushed it back up above 10.

LMU's last five-game losing streak came November 25-December 6, 2005 while their last same-season five-game WCC skid occurred 10 years ago, from February 12-26, 2000. The Lions will look to snap the skid next week as they continue their three-game home stand with a pair of games. On Thursday, LMU hosts Santa Clara at 7 p.m. in this year's WBCA PinkZone game. The Lions will be wearing pink uniforms, giving away pink ipods, and signing post-game autographs in an effort to raise Breast Cancer Awareness. Then on Saturday, LMU closes out the home stand with a 2 p.m. tip against San Francisco.




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