Late Comeback Secures Rivalry Win
Jackie Johnson scores career-high 31 points
MALIBU, Calif. – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team scored a season-high 87 points to top PCH Cup rival Pepperdine Saturday afternoon. Despite trailing entering the fourth quarter, LMU outscored the waves by 12 to earn the 87-78 victory and complete the season sweep.
“I felt like we just picked up our defensive intensity and decide to go harder,” said Head Coach Charity Elliott. “We created some things, rebounded, and got some easy baskets in transition which helped us down the stretch. We knew it was going to be a battle, that’s the way it is every single game.”
LMU benefited from Jackie Johnson’s 31 points on 14-for-20 shooting, as well as a pair of late runs to erase a nine-point deficit with 1:45 remaining in the third.
Bianca Velasco and Leslie Lopez-Wood hit back-to-back threes on LMU’s final two possessions of the third quarter to make it a three-point game, 61-58, going into the final period. The run continued and into the start of the fourth and turned into a 14-0 run that gave LMU a five-point lead with 7:31 remaining in the game.
The Lions put together another 10-0 run over 2:55 in the fourth to change a one-point deficit into a nine-point lead, 80-71. A pair of Cheyanne Wallace jumpers highlighted the stretch, with the sophomore finishing with 23 points.
Both Wallace and Johnson hit the 20-point mark for the eighth time this season.
The Lions jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead to start the game behind consecutive paint baskets by Johnson, before Pepperdine rattled off 10 unanswered. Johnson started the game 5-for-5, scoring LMU’s first 10 points of the game.
The Lions were 0-for-7 from three in the first quarter, but Wallace came out and hit LMU’s first two attempts in the second quarter. The Lions finished 5-for-8 in the second quarter from behind the arc, 8-for-21 overall.
“The last 10 minutes we just buckled down and got back to work, and that was the difference in the game,” said Elliott. “This is always a tough one. It’s PCH, it’s a rivalry game, and going from Thursday’s atmosphere coming here I was a little bit nervous about coming out flat. This conference is too good, we can’t take days off.”
Cierra Belvin collected a career-high seven points and 11 rebounds. For the second-straight game, Andee Velasco set a new career-best assists mark topping Thursday’s 11-assist performance with 13 against the Waves.
LMU is on the road next, traveling to play San Francisco on Thursday before playing in front of the home crowd one final time for Senior Day on Saturday Feb. 25.
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