Lions Fall in Thanksgiving Classic Opener

Sophie Taylor scored a career-high 16 points Friday.

Nov. 29, 2013

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LOS ANGELES - The LMU women's basketball team nearly completed an impressive comeback Friday in the second game of the DoubleTree Los Angles Westside Thanksgiving Classic, but a final three-point attempt by Hazel Ramirez rimmed out and the Lions fell,63-60, to UC Irvine.

The sophomore duo of Deanna Johnson and Sophie Taylor led the charge down the stretch. Trailing by 12, 47-35, with 11:14 to play, Taylor converted a layup and three pointer, cutting the spread to seven. The Anteaters' Methlyn Onogomuho responded with a jumper, but Taylor knocked down another three, Brianna Kennedy converted a layup and Johnson hit a mid-range jumper, trimming the UCI lead to just to, 49-47, with 8:11 to play.

A pair of free throws by Johnson tied the game for the first time, 51-51, with 6:32 on the clock. Then Taylor kicked it into high gear. The sophomore forward reeled off six straight points, capped by her third three-pointer of the night to put LMU on top 57-51.

UCI would respond, however, in the form of a Camille Buckley layup and Jennifer Tsurumoto three. An Emily Ben-Jumbo free throw pushed the LMU lead back to two at 1:18, but UCI hit back-to-back buckets and an and-one free throw to reclaim the lead, 61-58, with 30 seconds remaining.

Taylor hit a long baseline two-pointer with 22 seconds remaining, but LMU was then forced to foul and Buckley hit both shots from the charity stripe.

The Lions had one final attempt to send the game into overtime, but a three from the right wing by Ramirez would not fall.

Taylor finished with a career-high 16 points off the bench for LMU. She as joined in double figures by Johnson and Ben-Jumbo who had 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Tsurumoto and Onogomuho had 16 points each to lead the Anteaters. Buckley added 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.

Behind a game-high 21 points from Brooke Lemar, North Dakota State won the tournament's opener, 70-53 over Montana. The Bison shot better than 46 percent in the first half to build a 35-28 lead at the break. Montana hit at just a 31 percent clip for the game, and surrendered 21 second-chance points to NDSU in the loss. North Dakota State also got 13 points and none boards from Miki Stephenson. The Grizzlies were led by Torry Hill and Kellie Cole who had 18 and 17 points, respectively.

UC Irvine and North Dakota State will face off in the tournament's championship game Saturday at 3 p.m. LMU and Montana will battle it out for third place in the consolation game, set to tip off at 1 p.m.

- #LMULions -



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