Lions Fall in Season Finale
Deanna Johnson led LMU with 22 points and Mackenzie Kerins had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.
March 1, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO - For the second straight year the Lions and Dons went to battle in the final regular-season game of the year. But this time it would be San Francisco who would prevail on it's senior day in War Memorial Gym, holding on for an 80-79 final over LMU Saturday.
The setback drops the Lions to 9-20 overall and 6-12 in West Coast Conference play. The Dons move to 11-18 overall and 6-12 in league play.
Coupled with Santa Clara's win over pepper dine Saturday, the Lions, Dons and Broncos finish in a three-way tie for seventh in the WCC. By virtue of a combined 3-1 record over LMU and USF, Santa Clara wins the tie break to take the seventh seed into next week's WCC Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. San Francisco will take the eighth seed and LMU is ninth.
The Lions and Dons will thus open tournament play in the 8/9 match-up Thursday, Mar. 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Deanna Johnson finished with a game-high 22 points for LMU as four Lions reached double-figures. Sophie Taylor had 14 points, including four threes, while Mackenzie Kerins chipped in a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double. Leslie Lopez-Wood had 12 points, including three threes, which brings her single-season total to an LMU record 68.
Taylor Proctor led USF with 19 points while Taj Winston chipped in 14, including the game-winning bucket with three ticks on the clock.
With 5:04 to go, a pair of Johnson free throws had LMU holding onto a six-point, 72-66, advantage. But the Lions went cold down the stretch and the USF duo of Winston and Proctor combined for an 8-0 run to knot the game at 74 apiece with 3:07 to go.
The Dons would then take the lead on a three by lone senior Alexa Hardick at the 1:41 mark. Johnson would trim the spread to one with a pair of free throws, but Paige Spietze would make it a two-point USF lead by hitting one-of-two from the charity stripe.
Johnson answered again for the Lions, going the length of the court before pulling up for a jumper in the lane for the game's ninth tie.
Then came Winston's game-winner. Following a 30-second timeout with 25 seconds to go, USF found Zhane Dikes for a jump shot. The sophomore guard's shot rimmed out, but Winston was there to collect the offensive board and power in a layup, giving USF an 80-78 lead.
The USF bench was then called for a technical foul as players came on to the court in celebration. Ramirez knocked down one of two free throws and the Lions' attempt to throw the ball the length of the court for a final desperation attempt fell short.
LMU finished shooting 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from three, but would miss four free-throw attempts (8-of-12).
San Francisco shot 59 percent for the game, including 60 percent in the second half as they slowly chipped away to steal the momentum from the Lions.
LMU came out of the gates hot as back-to-back Sophie Taylor threes put LMU on top 18-7 at the 14:26 mark. San Francisco would respond with a 9-0 run, capped by a pair of Taylor Proctor buckets, trimming LMU's advantage to two.
Proctor would score four straight again and Paige Spietz would hit a jumper in the pain to give USF its first lead since the first minute of play, 25-24 with 9:45 to go.
Lopez-Wood's second three of the day put a four-point lead back in the hands of LMU with just under eight to play. The Lions would lead by as many as four twice more in the half before the Dons closed out the frame with six straight points to carry a 45-43 lead into the break.