Feb. 23, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - An incredible career performance from sophomore Mackenzie Kerins was overshadowed by a second half come back from Pepperdine as the LMU women's basketball team fell 65-61 in their West Coast Conference regular season finale Thursday at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Kerins, who entered the night with career highs of eight points and 10 rebounds, poured in 14 points in the first half alone and finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for her first career double-double. She was joined in double figures by Alex Cowling who had a game-high 26 points along with nine rebounds, coming up just shy of an 11th double-double.
Pepperdine (13-13, 8-7 WCC), which has secured the fifth seed in next week's WCC Tournament, took its first lead of the game, 58-56, on a Jazmine Jackson jumper with 6:27 remaining.
Kerins tied the game with a jumper of her own, but a Katie Menton three off a baseline out of bounds play to beat the shot clock gave Pepperdine a 61-58 lead. Jackson added to the lead with a jumper at 3:52, pushing the Waves ahead, 63-58.
One free throw by Kerins and a pair by Cowling cut the Lions deficit to two, 63-61, but a Jackson jumper with 25 seconds remaining would be the final bucket of the game as three shot attempts by LMU in the final 12 seconds drew iron.
LMU (7-21, 3-13 WCC) never trailed in the first half as back-to-back lay-ups by Kerins put the Lions ahead 6-2 two minutes in. Behind Kerins' 7-of-8 shooting in the half, LMU slowly built a 14-point lead, 31-17, with 3:23 remaining. Lauren Bell began to get hot, scoring Pepperdine's final seven points of the half, cutting LMU's lead to 39-29 at the break.
A 9-2 Pepperdine run capped by a Menton three cut the lions lead to three, 46-43 at the 13:06 mark of the second half. After the under-12 media timeout, a Skye Barnett jumper cut the spread to one. The teams then traded mini runs before four straight points by Jackson put the Waves on top for good.
The Lions shot 47.3 percent from the field for the game, including nearly 53 percent in the first half. LMU also ran away with the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Waves 44-22, including 16 offensive boards that led to 12 second-chance points.
Pepperdine had four players in double figures including Jackson and Barnett with 14 points each, Bell with 12 and Menton with 11.
The Lions open West Coast Conference Tournament play on Wednesday, Feb. 29 in the opening 8/9 game. While their opponent is still yet to be determined, tip off is scheduled for noon at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
- GO LIONS -