Nov. 17, 2012
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LOS ANGELES - After displaying a gritty defensive effort on Thursday in the season's first victory, the LMU women's basketball team put on a offensive show in their second win, claiming a 98-81 victory over Utah State Saturday in Gersten Pavilion.
The win moved the Lions to an even 2-2 on the season while the Aggies remained winless at 0-3.
It was a record setting performance for LMU, both individually and collectively. Junior point guard Hazel Ramirez tallied her first career-double-double with 15 points and a program record 12 assists. The previous single-game high of 11 was held by four former Lions, but had not been matched sine the 1994 season. The Lions' 98 points was the highest scoring output since 2007 and now sits as the third most points scored in program history.
LMU opened up quick 9-2 lead at the 17:11 mark on six straight points by Mackenzie Kerins. The Aggies battled back to tie the score at 13 with 13:58 remaining and would take a four-point lead, 22-18, at the 10:45 mark when Devyn Christensen capped a 9-0 run with five straight points.
The Lions quickly responded and a three-pointer by Alex Cowling and a layup put the lead back in LMU's hands, 23-22 with 10:06 on the clock. Utah State never led again as the Lions got their up-tempo offense clicking, pushing their lead to 12, 43-31 at the 2:38 mark and eventually taking a 46-36 advantage into the half.
A 21-10 run to start to the second half pushed LMU's lead to 21, 67-46 with 14:13 remaining. Utah State chipped away, cutting the spread to 10, 77-67, at the 6:48 mark, but the Lions let the Aggies get no closer for the balance of the game.
Cowling led LMU with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting and a 4-for-4 performance from the free-throw line. Kerins matched her career highs of 19 points and 13 boards for her second double-double of the season.
After struggling in most offensive categories for the first three games, the Lions shot a healthy 49 percent from the field, 42 percent from three and 84 percent from the charity stripe. They handily won the battle on the boards, 43-32, including 17 offensive rebounds that they turned into 21 second-chance points. Defensive pressure was also key as they forced 25 Aggie turnovers while collecting 17 steals.
Utah State's Christensen led all scorers with 31 points while Franny Vaaulu and Jenna Johnson added 18 and 12 points, respectively.
The Lions will look to remain perfect at home this year when they close out their three-game homestand on Tuesday, Nov. 20, hosting Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m.