Lions Battle, Fall to 49ers
Despite battling down the stretch, the Lions could not overcome an early second-half cold spell in a 76-66 loss at Long Beach State Saturday.
Nov. 23, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Trailing by as many as 20 points in the second half, a late rally brought the Lions to within 10, but it would be too little, too late as the LMU women's basketball team fell 76-66 at Long Beach State Saturday night in the Walter Pyramid.
The Lions, who have played four of the season's first five games on the road, drop to 1-4 while the 49ers move to 2-2 overall.
Hazel Ramirez led the Lions in scoring for the second time this season, pouring in a game-high 22 points, her first 20-plus point effort of the season and just three shy of her career record. Joining Ramirez in double figures were Deanna Johnson with 11 and freshman Leslie Lopez-Wood who nailed four treys for a career high 12 points.
Long Beach State was led by Raven Benton's 16-point, 10-rebound double-double off the bench. Lauren Spargo had 12 points, Hallie Meneses chipped in 11 and Raven Benton had 10.
Another slow start and three early turnovers put the Lions in an early 10-2 hole. But a three by Ramirez and back-to-back jumpers by Chelsea Barnes brought the Lions back into the game and trailing just 10-9 with 15:41 to play in the half.
Long Beach State stretched the lead back to six, 15-9, before LMU rolled out an 11-4 run capped by a Ramirez layup to take its first lead of the night, 20-19.
The teams traded buckets, and turnovers, over the final stretch as a pair of Ramirez free throws with 1:13 to play represented the final points of the half and the Lions went into the locker room trailing 35-32.
After shooting nearly 50 percent form the field in the opening period, the Lions went cold in the second frame, hitting just 11-for-38 from the field and 7-for-18 from the charity stripe. The 49ers, who hit an even 50 percent in the first half, stayed consistent in the second, hitting at a 44 percent clip.
A Ramirez layup to open the second half trimmed the spread to just one, but the 49ers followed with a 28-9 run to open up a 63-43 advantage with 6:14 to play.
Back-to-back threes by Lopez-Wood and Johnson, followed by a Ramirez layup capped an LMU run that cut the deficit to 10, 66-56, with 2:21 remaining. Lopez-Wood's fourth three of the night made it a nine-point game with 44 seconds remaining, but that would be as close at the Lions would get.
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion next week, hosting Montana, North Dakota State and UC Irvine in the DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 29-30. Montana and North Dakota State open tournament play at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, followed by LMU against UC Irvine at 3 p.m. The consolation and championship games will be played Saturday, tipping off at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.