LOS ANGELES – In the team’s final home matchup of the season, the Loyola Marymount Lions (18-10, 10-7 WCC) defeated the Santa Clara Broncos (9-19, 5-12 WCC) 64-45. It was Senior Night at Gersten Pavilion, as guard Makenzie Cast and forward NK Ilang played their final game on the bluff. Cast finished with a game-high 16 points in the victory, netting four three-pointers on the night.
The Broncos started off in control, taking a 32-25 lead at the half after knocking down six threes through the first two quarters, including five in the first quarter alone.
The third quarter was all Lions, as LMU held Santa Clara without a field goal the entire frame. LMU scored 15 unanswered points until the Broncos hit a single free throw, which would be their only point of the period. The Lions outscored the Broncos 17-1 in the third to lead 42-33 heading into the fourth.
Cast scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the final frame to seal the Lions’ victory. She also poured in two of her game-high four threes in the fourth.
Bree Alford pulled down a team-high 11 boards to go along with eight points and four assists. Stat-stuffer Gabby Green racked up game highs in assists (8) and steals (6) in addition to six points. Cheyanne Wallace and Chelsey Gipson chipped in seven points apiece in the win.
Ashlyn Herlihy led the Broncos with 14 points, while Morgan McGwire hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Lions forced 23 Santa Clara turnovers on the night, which converted to 30 LMU points points off of the Broncos' turnovers. LMU also dished out 24 assists to the Broncos’ 13.
The Lions outscored the Broncos 40-18 in points in the paint and LMU’s bench put up 28 points to Santa Clara’s 18.
“The first half I thought we were just getting outworked and outplayed,” LMU head coach Charity Elliott said. “Santa Clara came in here and they were ready to play. Senior Night is always hard because there’s a lot of emotions and a lot of external things happening, which are amazing, but they can also take a little bit of focus away and a little bit of energy away. We knew that we needed to come back in the second half. We made some changes defensively, and I thought our team did a great job of capitalizing and getting some easy baskets in transition. We regained our focus and kept building on our positive momentum.”
Elliott also expressed her gratitude for graduating seniors Cast and Ilang.
“Makenzie and NK have been through the really hard years of building this program,” Elliott said. “A lot of ups and downs, and they’ve been resilient and stayed positive. I’m so glad that they’re a part of this team this year. Makenzie is having an incredible season and it was really nice for NK to be able to step in there and do some good stuff tonight. They’re both such quality people and amazing young women. Their futures are off the charts. I can’t say enough positive things about both of them. They are going to be so missed both on the floor and in our locker room.”
The Lions have one more regular season game before hitting Las Vegas for the WCC Tournament next week, as they travel to Stockton, Calif. to face the Pacific Tigers on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.
W. Basketball - 3/14/2018
Athletics Director William Husak Announces July Retirement
W. Basketball - 3/1/2018
Women’s Basketball Falls Short in WCC Quarterfinals
W. Basketball - 2/28/2018
WCC Tournament Next Stop For Women's Basketball
W. Basketball - 2/27/2018
Green Named WCC Newcomer Of The Year, Alford And Cast...
W. Basketball - 2/26/2018
Green Earns WCC Player Of The Week Honors
W. Basketball - 2/24/2018
Alford's Buzzer-Beater Gives LMU 79-77 Victory Over Pacific