Feb. 9, 2013
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LOS ANGELES - A big first half deficit left the Lions in a 23-point half time hole, but the LMU women's basketball team gave West Coast Conference leading Gonzaga a toe-to-toe battle in the second half before falling 70-56 Saturday in Gersten Pavilion.
The Lions (9-15, 3-8 WCC) shot 45 percent in the second half and outscored the Zags (20-5, 10-1 WCC) 40-31, matching the most points allowed by Gonzaga in a half this season. Unfortunately, LMU found itself in a big hole early as the Zags opened the game by scoring 15 straight points.
A Hazel Ramirez free throw at 14:27 finally ended the run and an Emily Ben-Jumbo jumper at the 13:58 mark gave the Lions their first field goal of the game. LMU managed just six field goals in the opening period while the Zags hit a blistering 18-for-35 from the field to carry a 39-16 lead into the break.
Looking for a spark to open the second half, the Lions mixed up its starters, going with game starters Alex Cowling and Mackenzie Kerins along with Dani LeNoir, Ashley Lovett and Ben-Jumbo.
The tactic worked as Cowling, who managed two first-half points, scored LMU's first nine points and the Lions outscored Gonzaga 14-7 to open play.
A Danielle Pruitt three brought the Lions to within 16, 46-30, and the teams would battle back and forth for the remainder of the game.
Cowling finished with 16 points, 14 in the second half, while also leading the Lions with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Chelsea Barnes, in her first start of the season, chipped in 11.
Haiden Palmer and Keani Albanez had 17 points each to lead Gonzaga while Shelby Cheslek chipped in a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards.
The Lions conclude their three-game WCC homestand next Thursday, Feb. 14, hosting San Diego. Tip off in Gersten Pavilion is scheduled for 7 p.m.