Tale of Two Halves, Plus OT, in Lion Win
The Lions overcame a cold-shooting first half to tie the game and hold on for their first OT win since 2007 Thursday against Saint Mary's.
Feb. 13, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Hazel Ramirez drained a game-tying three with five seconds remaining in regulation and the LMU women's basketball team sank four-of-six free throws in overtime to earn a huge come-from-behind, 76-74, win over visiting Saint Mary's Thursday night in Gersten Pavilion.
The win snapped a two-game skid as LMU moved to 8-16 overall and 5-8 in West Coast Conference play. The Gaels fell for the second straight game, dropping to 18-6 overall and 8-5 in league action.
Also snapped was a six-game losing streak to the Gaels dating back to Jan. 6, 2011, while the overtime victory marked the first such win since Dec. 28, 2007.
The Gaels took a seven point, 68-61, lead on an Amanda Arter jumper with 4:43 to play. LMU would respond with an Emily Ben-Jumbo jumper and Mackenzie Kerins layup, trimming the spread to three, 68-65.
Saint Mary's would then go the remainder of regulation without a field goal, and go scoreless for more than four minutes. A Kerins layup off a Ramirez assist brought the Lions to within one with 32 seconds remaining.
LMU fouled on the ensuing Gael possession, sending Kate Gaze to the line for a pair. She would hit both chances, pushing the spread back to three. An initial three-point attempt by Deanna Johnson rimmed out, but Kerins came down with a huge offensive board. She kicked the ball out to Ramirez on the wing, who faked, dribbled to her left and let the long ball fly.
The Gaels struck first in overtime as Jackie Nared drained a jumper on the first possession. Kerins would give the game its fifth tie score, responding with a jumper off a Taylor Anderson offensive board. The Lions finished with a 19-8 edge in second chance points.
Hannah Kaser knocked down a jumper of her own to put the Gaels briefly back on top, 74-72 with 4:01 to go, but those would be the last points scored by Saint Mary's as they went 0-4 from the field and surrendered three offensive rebounds to the Lions.
Leslie Lopez-Wood sank a pair of free throws while Ramirez and Kerins each hit one-of-two to seal the win.
Ramirez finished with 17 points and 11 assists for her fourth double-double of the season. Sophie Taylor had 14 points, Ben-Jumbo chipped in 13 and Kerins came one point shy of a double-double, finishing the night with nine points and 12 boards. Anderson was also huge on the boards with a career-high 11, including five on the offensive end.
Nared led all scorers with 25 points, including 10-for-11 from the free-throw line. She also added 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Kaser had 12 points, Shannon Mauldin added 10 and Danielle Mauldin hauled down a game-high 19 boards.
Both teams were ice cold from the field to start the game. An Arter layup nearly two minutes into play gave Saint Mary's the early lead. LMU would finally get on the board at the 15:23 mark, courtesy a Lopez-Wood three. But the Gaels would reel off 13 straight points to lead 16-3 at the 10:15 mark.
The Lions would never find their rhythm in the half, shooting just 30 percent from the field and going 3-for-16 from three, to trail 42-29 at the break.
The second half was a different story however, as LMU came out on fire, reeling off an 11-0 run and outscoring Saint Mary's 20-6 on their way to taking their first lead of the game, 49-48, at the 15:49 mark.
Saint Mary's would push the lead back to as many as eight before the Lions made their final push down the stretch.
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion Saturday, Feb. 15 hosting Pacific is their annual pink Play4Kay game. Join LMU in raising money and awareness for breast cancer by donating today!
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