SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team (2-0) earned a 62-60 road victory at the buzzer over the Saint Louis Billiken’s (1-1) on Monday night when redshirt junior Gabby Green poured in a layup off a feed from sophomore Cierra Belvin as time expired.
The Billikens started the game on a 12-0 run but the Lions quickly bounced back, following with a run of their own and outscoring Saint Louis 13-1 over the final 3:29 of the first quarter. A layup by Bree Alford off a dish from Green sparked the run, followed by a driving floater by Green and then two threes by Alford and Makenzie Cast. Raychel Stanley pulled down an offensive board and finished a layup off the glass to tie the game at 13-13 after one.
LMU knocked down 3-of-4 three-point attempts in the second quarter and edged SLU 18-14 in the frame. Andee Velasco posted six of her team-high 16 points in the second, going 2-for-2 from long range.
A. Velasco’s hot shooting continued in the third as she netted two more threes including one at the buzzer to give the Lions a 46-40 lead heading into the final frame.
LMU held a 10-point lead over SLU, 54-44, with 6:19 to go, but the Billikens followed with a 10-0 run and tied the game at 54-54 with 1:58 remaining on a made jumper from Jordyn Frantz. A. Velasco scored on the next play to regain the lead for the Lions, but Aaliyah Covington finished on the other end for SLU, tying it up once again at 56-56. Alford netted a clutch triple at the 1:03 mark off a pass from A. Velasco to put LMU up 59-56.
SLU’s Jackie Kemph was fouled and secured two free throws to cut the Lions lead to one, 59-58, with 55 seconds left. A. Velasco was fouled next and went to the line with four seconds to go, scoring one of two free throws and increasing the LMU lead to two, 60-58. Kemph drew another foul attacking the rim and poured in two more free throws for SLU to tie the game for the sixth time at 60-60.
LMU head coach Charity Elliott then drew up the game’s final play during a timeout with .4 seconds remaining, resulting in Belvin’s toss to Green for the win.
"That last shot was unbelievable," LMU head coach Charity Elliott said. "Great execution from the pass to the screen to the finish. I'm just really proud of this team. We walked in to a great team, this Saint Louis team is a great team, and we didn't back down. We kept fighting. We had some inconsistency, some ups and downs, but we kept fighting. That's what I'm proud of. It wasn't pretty. Our team can get so much better. We aren't even close to where we're going to be. But to come on the road, at this place, with this crowd and in this environment and to get the win is unbelievable. I'm really happy for our players right now."
A. Velasco, in her first game of the 2017-18 season, shot 55.5 percent from the field (5-of-9) and 80.0 percent (4-for-5) from three-point range to finish with her game-high 16 points and six assists.
Green tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Bree Alford secured a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 boards. Cast netted 3-of-5 three-point attempts and added nine points in the win.
"It definitely felt good to see the shot go in, like actually have it count," Green recalled. "And then the pass from Cierra [Belvin] was as good of a pass as you could ever ask for so I just had to go up and finish it."
The Lions play one more road game at Long Beach State on Friday, Nov. 17 before the team’s home opener at Gersten Pavilion on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. vs. the Arizona Wildcats.
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