Nov. 6, 2009
Box Score |
Coach Wilhoit's post-game interview with Angie Kiel on the Lions' Audio Network.
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Alex Cowling had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead four LMU players who scored in double figures in an 87-67 exhibition game victory over The Master's College on Friday night at Gersten Pavilion. Eleven of the 12 players who saw the court scored for the Lions, who featured a balanced attack and harried the Mustangs into 25 turnovers.
Making their first appearance of the 2009-10 season, the Lions showed an up-tempo look at both ends of the court, pressuring the Mustangs on defense and darting and cutting for layups on offense. After Erica Inge scored off the opening tip to put the visitors up 2-0, the Lions struck back with a three-pointer from senior Lisa Helmers 18 seconds later and never trailed again, shooting 42% (34-for-81) overall, compared to 39% (23-for-59) by the Mustangs. The Lions also dominated the boards, pulling down an astounding 25 offensive rebounds en route to a 54-37 advantage on the glass. On the defensive end, the Lions converted the Mustangs' 25 turnovers into 29 points.
Cowling, the 2008-09 West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year, displayed her all-around game, finishing with 17 points on 8-for-17 shooting, 10 rebounds (five offensive), three assists, and two steals. She was joined in double figures by junior Jessica Vargas, who just missed a double-double with 13 points, nine boards, and three assists in a starting role. Sophomore Candice Nichols also had an outstanding start, contributing 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Two Lion newcomers were impressive in their LMU debuts. Redshirt freshman Monica DeAngelis came off the bench for 12 points and three assists while true freshman Camille Buckley hauled down eight offensive rebounds as part of her game-high 11 boards to go along with nine points in just 13 minutes.
The Mustangs were led by Lena Rivera's 11 points off the bench while Jenna Reed had 10 points. Brittany Henderson chipped in eight points and seven rebounds, with Annie Gillespie adding seven points and seven boards.
After taking the lead for the first time in the opening minute, the Lions steadily increased their advantage, going ahead by double-digits for the first time, 26-15 at 8:47 of the first half, on Helmers' second of two threes. The Master's cut back into the lead, pulling with eight, 33-25, on Rivera's layup with 5:11 remaining in the first, but the Lions responded with 11 unanswered to push the gap up to 19 before the Mustangs closed to within 11, 44-33, at the half.
Whatever was said by Head Coach Julie Wilhoit in the locker room at halftime lit a flame under the Lions coming out of the break. Junior Maggie Burkett's layup on the opening possession jump-started a 12-0 run to start the second half as LMU clamped down on defense to hold The Master's without a basket over the first four minutes. The Mustangs would close back to within eight, 58-50, on four straight points by Reed but the Lions would respond once more, using a 16-3 run over the next four minutes to expand the margin to 21, 74-53, with 5:16 to go.
After that, it was just a matter of getting minutes for everyone who suited up. Eleven players logged at least 10 minutes with only Cowling (31) and Nichols (26) topping 25. The Lions got 40 points out of their bench.
The Lions open the regular season proper next Friday with a trip to Dallas to take on Southern Methodist University. The game tips at 5:30 p.m. CST/3:30 p.m. PST.
- GO LIONS -