Women's Basketball Blitzes Saint Mary's In Front of Energetic Crowd
LMU forces a season-high 27 turnovers to win, 72-57
The lead grew to as much as 31 points Thursday as Loyola Marymount (12-14, 7-8) handled Saint Mary's (15-11, 10-5) in front of 1835 people, mostly children who were in attendance for the team's annual Field Trip Day. Faculty also joined in support as the women's basketball team simultaneously hosted Faculty Appreciation Day.
"What I thought was awesome today was seeing everybody buying in and committing to playing as hard as you have to play," said Head Coach Charity Elliott. "Defensively, I thought we were very active and we followed the game plan. Offensively, I felt like we got some easy looks in transitions, and I thought our pace was good. This is where we want to be playing at this point of the season."
The Gaels jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the home side responded to take their first lead at 8-7 on a Leslie Lopez-Wood jumper that was part of a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter.
After SMC scored the first basket of the second period, LMU again strung together a run, scoring eight more unanswered to grow the lead to double figures at 22-9.
Cheyanne Wallace's season-best 10 made field goals were highlighted by her running transition three pointer to give LMU a 17-point lead at the half, 30-13. The lead never dipped under 15 in the second half and reached 30 and 31 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
The Lions used a season-best 19 steals to force 27 SMC turnovers for 32 points off giveaways, and were plus-10 in second chance points, 16-6. Cierra Belvin led the way with a career-high five steals.
"It was nice to come out and compete and play hard," said Elliott. "What a great atmosphere we had here with the kids. The energy we got from the crowd was obviously a big plus. I'm just really proud of our team right now."
This is the third win by fifteen points this season, after reaching the margin in wins against Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 4) and Portland (Jan. 14). LMU's largest margin of victory this season came in Thanksgiving Classic blowout win over UC Irvine, 58-39.
LMU will use the benefit of the early game to get some additional rest in before Saturday's 1 p.m. PCH Cup game at Pepperdine.
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