LAS VEGAS – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team (19-11, 11-8 WCC) had a tough battle against the hot-shooting San Francisco Dons (16-14, 11-8 WCC) on Thursday night in the WCC Tournament quarterfinals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Dons ultimately earned a 13-point victory as they tied the WCC Tournament record by netting 14 three-pointers on the night and defeated the Lions 89-76.
USF set the tone in the first half, shooting 52.2 percent from the field in the first two quarters to take a 10-point lead into the half, 36-26. Anna Seilund was unstoppable in the opening half, scoring 18 points including three three-pointers. The Dons led by as many as 16 points mid-way through the second quarter, but Cheyanne Wallace scored six points over the last few minutes of the frame to help trim the deficit.
The Lions came out fighting in the second half, cutting the USF lead under the 10-point mark several times. Freshman Jasmine Jones was on fire in the third, scoring seven points in the period to give LMU momentum. Raychel Stanley also moved into double-figure scoring in the third quarter, scoring six points on a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. LMU edged USF 24-22 in quarter three and trailed by eight entering the final frame, 58-50.
LMU fought until the end, cutting the Dons’ lead to just six points with one minute remaining, but they were not able to overcome San Francisco in the end. Freshman Chelsey Gipson scored all 14 of her points in the fourth quarter to give the Lions a chance to catch the Dons, but USF kept the edge throughout.
Gipson led the Lions in scoring on the night, as she knocked down four threes in the fourth quarter alone. Jones and Gabby Green were just behind with 13 points apiece. Stanley (12 points) also reached double-figure scoring in the loss. Green added seven assists, six boards and three steals.
LMU struggled to guard the three-point line, but they brought the defensive intensity overall on the night, forcing 20 USF turnovers in the game.
“When you come to a tournament like this, you come ready to play and USF was prepared, it just took us a while to get going,” Lions head coach Charity Elliott said. “I wish that we competed harder. I don’t think we left it all on the court tonight and that’s what’s disappointing.”
The Dons will advance to the next round and face off against the winner of the Gonzaga/Pepperdine game tomorrow.
"This is a great group and the strides they made over the season are incredible," Elliott continued. "Sweeping Saint Mary's, Newcomer of the Year for the second year in a row, and the group we have coming back will drive us to work."
“I’m really proud of my team and this group of girls,” Green, LMU co-captain, recalled of the season as a whole. “We try to cherish every moment and we will always have our memories together.”
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