Hot Start Spurs LMU to 74-43 Win Over Long Beach State
Lions open game on 26-0 run for first win of season
Nov. 15, 2010
LOS ANGELES - A 26-0 run to start the game got LMU going and the Lions cruised to their first victory of the season, 74-43 over Long Beach State in the home opener on Monday night at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions (1-1) put three players in double figures and grabbed 24 offensive rebounds to win their 11th straight over the 49ers (0-2).
Junior Alex Cowling inched closer to 1,000 career points, leading all scorers with 19 points to give her 964 for her career. Cowling added nine rebounds. She was joined in double figures by freshman Hazel Ramirez, who scored all 15 of her points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting, and by junior Candice Nichols with 13 points. Redshirt freshman Camille Buckley added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
After two regular season and one exhibition game, LMU is carving out an identity of being voracious on the offensive glass. The Lions have pulled down at least 20 offensive rebounds in each of the three contests, including 24 on Monday night that led to 26 second chance points. The Lions dominated the overall rebounding category, 51-34, while also forcing 19 turnovers.
LMU shot 37.7% (23-for-61) for the game and 26.1% (6-for-23) from three-point range. The Lions' aggressiveness also led to a decided edge at the free throw line as they took 29 trips to the stripe, sinking 22 (75.9%).
Amanda Sims and Janae Coffee each had eight points to lead the 49ers. Coffee added seven rebounds. LBSU shot 28.8% (15-for-52) from the floor, 20% (3-for-15) from three-point range, and 62.5% (10-for-16) at the line.
In sharp contrast to Friday's season opener at Idaho State in which the Lions started 1-for-9, LMU opened this contest a different team. LMU never trailed thanks in part to scoring the game's first 26 points. The Lions held the 49ers off the board until Sims knocked down a pair of free throws with 9:27 left and forced LBSU to miss its first 10 shots from the floor. Ramirez was the catalyst, knocking down four of her first six shots, including 3-of-5 from long range, for 11 of LMU's first 23 points.
There were some similarities with Friday night in the form of LMU's hustle at both ends of the court. The Lions' defense forced LBSU to miss its first 10 shots while, on the occasions when the Lions themselves misfired, they were sure to track down the rebound. LMU grabbed 14 offensive rebounds that led to 21 second-chance points in the first half after pulling down 49 combined o-boards in the exhibition game and season opener. Ramirez typified LMU's hustle, tracking down LMU's 14th offensive rebound of the first half and converting a jumper at the halftime buzzer for her 15th point of the opening 20 minutes and a 42-19 LMU lead.
The Lions were not about to rest on their big first-half lead and soon pushed the lead over 30. A 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore Monica DeAngelis, gave LMU its largest lead, 56-21, with 14:12 left. That enabled LMU to clear its bench and 13 of the 14 players who suited up made it into the game, with 10 players getting on the scoresheet.
The Lions head out on the road for the next two games, visiting Cal Poly on Friday at 7 p.m. before journeying to Sacramento State on Monday at 7 p.m.