Complete Team Effort in Win at Santa Clara
Hazel Ramirez had 21 points to lead four Lions in double-figures in the 88-74 win over the Broncos.
Feb. 27, 2014
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Using a series of runs to break away from a tight first half of play, the LMU women's basketball team clinched an 88-74 win over Santa Clara Thursday night in the Leavey Center.
The Lions moved to 9-19 overall and 6-11 in West Coast Conference play while the Broncos fell to 9-19 overall and 5-12 in league action.
Four Lions scored in double-figures, led by Hazel Ramirez's 21-point effort. Deanna Johnson had 18 while Leslie Lopez-Wood matched her career high with 18 points, including four threes. Mackenzie Kerins chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
Santa Clara's Nici Gilday led all scorers with a career-high 40 points, hitting 15-of-23 from the field and 8-of-10 from three. The junior guard reeked havoc for the Lions all night as she near single-handedly kept the Broncos within striking distance until late.
Joe Paine added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Broncos while Marie Bertholdt had 10 points.
A tight, well-fought first half of play saw eight lead changes and seven ties as neither team would hold more than a four-point advantage.
LMU would claim the first two-possession lead as back-to-back buckets by Ben-Jumbo and Ramriez put the Lions on top 9-5 early. Four straight Gilday points put the Broncos on top 15-11 with 13:11 to go.
That would be the largest spread either team held until the final minute when five straight LMU points turned a one-point deficit into a four-point lead at the break, 35-31.
Lopez-Wood opened the second half with back-to-back buckets, including her first three of the night, helping the Lions open up a quick 40-31 advantage. Free throws by Gilday and a three by Jo Paine trimmed the spread to two, but a 7-0 LMU run pushed the lead back to nine, 51-42 with 13:43 to go.
Gilday supplied Santa Clara with a nine straight points to bring the Broncos to within one, 52-51, with just under 12 minutes on the clock. But once again the Lions responded with a run of their own, this time in the form of Lopez-Wood and Johnson. The duo reeled off 11 straight points, pushing the spread to double-digits for the first time, 63-53.
A jumper by Gilday and a layup by Paine briefly sent the LMU lead back to single digits, 64-57, with 6:31 to play, but another 9-0 run by the Lions, capped by a pair of Kerins free throws, pushed the spread back to double-digits where it would remain for the balance of the game.
The win pushed the Lions into sole possession of seventh place in the WCC standings entering Saturday - the final round of play for all 10 teams. LMU closes out the regular season at San Francisco with tip off scheduled for 2 p.m.