LOS ANGELES – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team (7-1) suffered its first loss of the 2017-18 season, falling to USC 80-70 at home on Friday night. LMU’s 7-0 start was the team’s best opening to a season since the Lions won eight straight contests to open up the 2003-04 season.
The Trojans (8-0) had a strong first quarter to secure a commanding 20-7 lead after one. Aliyah Mazyck scored seven points for USC in the frame while Sadie Edwards and Ja’Tavia Tapley chipped in four points apiece. USC shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first period while the Lions were limited to just 11.8 percent in the opening quarter.
The Lions battled back in the second, outscoring the Trojans 18-15 to cut the USC lead to 10 (35-25) at the half. Cheyanne Wallace nearly recorded a double-double through two quarters, finishing with 11 boards and eight boards in the first half.
LMU opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 35-35 three minutes into the frame, but the Trojans went on to outscore the Lions 21-20 in the period to regain their lead. USC led by 11, 56-45, heading into the final frame.
Gabby Green posted 17 of her 19 points in the second half as the Lions continued to fight, but it was not enough to catch the Trojans. Minyon Moore of USC tallied 29 of her game-high 34 points in the second half to keep the Trojans ahead. Moore added seven rebounds and two blocks in the game.
Wallace finished with 24 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. She has scored 20+ points in five of LMU’s eight games on the season. Along with her 19 points, Green tallied six rebounds and two steals for the Lions. Entering tonight’s contest, she led the WCC in steals with 3.2 per game.
Kristen Simon posted a double-double for the Trojans in the USC win, finishing with 16 points and 10 boards.
The Lions struggled from the free-throw line on the night, going just 12-of-27. USC held a 44-40 edge on the boards, and LMU outscored USC in the paint, 34-28. LMU’s bench also scored 18 points while USC’s reserves totaled seven points.
“We learned so much tonight about our team,” LMU head coach Charity Elliott said. “I’m really proud of our fight. We have a lot of things we need to work on. If we hit a couple of free throws it might’ve been a different game, but that’s okay. I’m really, really proud of our fight. We kept coming back, we kept punching back, and we never quit to the very end. We learned a lot about who we are tonight and what we’re going to do. We’re going to learn from this and be better for it.”
LMU travels to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Dec. 6 for a 7 p.m. contest. The Lions return to The Bluff on Saturday, Dec. 9 for a 2 p.m. game against California State Northridge.
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