Nov. 24, 2012
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FREEPORT, Bahamas - After trailing by as many as 20 points, the LMU women's basketball team put together a furious second-half rally to clinch its first road victory of the season, 75-74, over Tulsa in the final game of the Junkanoo Jam Saturday afternoon.
Alex Cowling led the charge, scoring 14 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. Hazel Ramirez added 10 points, including a pair of clutch second-half threes, to go along with a game-high seven assists. Rookie Deanna Johnson stepped up with a career-high 10 points, including a runner in the lane with 2:47 remaining that tied the score, 71-71.
A Mackenzie Kerins layup with 1:28 remaining gave the Lions (4-3) their first lead, 73-71, since the 12:56 mark of the first half. Tulsa's Tiffani Couisnard made it a one-point game, 73-72, by hitting one of two free throws with 56 seconds remaining.
Sophie Taylor responded with a layup, pushing the lead back to three, 75-72, with 49 seconds on the clock and Tulsa's Taleya Mayberry cut it back to one with a jumper in the paint, but that was as close as the Golden Hurricane would get before the final buzzer.
After managing just eight points in the first half yesterday, the Lions were on the mark to start the game Saturday, knocking down four of their first six shots, including a pair of threes by Cowling and Ramirez, to lead 10-6 four minutes in.
They went on to hit their first 6-of-10 as the teams sat knotted at 16-16 eight minutes in. But the cold shooting spell returned for LMU for the remainder of the half as it hit just three field goals for the remaining 12 minutes. Tulsa, meanwhile, hit at a 52 percent clip in the frame, taking a 37-22 lead into the break.
Searching for a way to reenergize her squad, head coach Charity Elliott mixed up her starting lineup to open the second half, opting for Taylor Anderson, Mackenzie Kerins and a trio of freshmen in Johnson, Chelsea Barnes and Sophie Taylor.
Tulsa (0-5) scored the first five points of the second half, stretching their lead to 20, 42-22 just 90 seconds in. But then the Lions began to show some fire, scoring 10 unanswered points to trail 42-30 with 16:37 remaining.
Tulsa stretched the lead back to 19 twice, before the Lions really started to chip away. A three by Cowling at the 10-minute mark trimmed the spread to 10, 61-51. Danielle Pruitt followed with four straight points and Ramirez sank a free throw to make it 61-56 with 8:40 on the clock.
The Golden Hurricane took a nine-point lead, 71-62, on an old-fashion three-point play by Ashley Clark. But LMU responded with a 9-0 run, capped by Johnson's game-tying runner.
LMU shot 42 percent from the field and 31 percent from three while also making good on 16-of-22 shots from the charity stripe.
After shooting a blistering 52 percent in the first half, Tulsa cooled off to hit at a 29-percent clip in the second frame. Mayberry scored a game-high 21 points while Couisnard chipped in a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double. Clark also hit double figures with 10 points.
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 28, hosting Colorado State at 7 p.m.