Nov. 19, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Alex Cowling recorded her third consecutive 20-plus point game, finishing with a game-high 22 points, but the LMU women's basketball team could not overcome an early deficit in a 66-49 loss to UC Santa Barbara Saturday at the Thunderdome.
LMU fell to 0-3 on the young season while the Gauchos, who began the year 0-2, won their second straight, moving to an even .500.
The young Lion squad struggled to find its groove early, missing their first five shots before Emily Ben-Jumbo sunk a jumper inside the paint at the 15:27 mark of the first half. But the hot Gauchos followed with an 11-0 run, opening up the game, 19-3 just eight minutes in.
A Hazel Ramirez three halted the streak, but UCSB reeled off another seven straight points. Down 33-11 with 7:28 remaining, the Lions began chipping away at the deficit, possession by possession.
Defensive stops combined with a 9-0 run, capped by a Ben-Jumbo layup brought LMU to within 13 with 1:26 remaining before Nicole Nesbit sunk a pair of free throws, giving UCSB a 35-20 lead at the half.
A 7-0 Gaucho run to open the second half pushed the spread to 20 points, where it hovered for the remainder of the game. UCSB guard Emilie Johnson was the thorn in LMU's side in the second half as she scored 14 of her team-high 21 points, including a pair of big three-pointers to keep the momentum in the hands of the home team.
After shooting just 24 percent from the field in the first half, the Lions hit 10-of-23 (44 percent) from the field in the second half, including 2-of-2 from three and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Ramirez chipped in nine points for LMU, including a pair of threes, while Ben-Jumbo finished with six points, all in the first half.
Joining Johnson in double figures for UCSB were freshman Sweets Underwood with 10 and Nesbit, who came off the bench to score 12 points.
LMU is back in action Monday, Nov. 21, facing its third consecutive Big West Conference foe in Cal State Fullerton. Tip off at Titan Gym is 7 p.m.
- GO LIONS -