Dec. 4, 2011
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LOS ANGELES - A strong first-half performance by the LMU women's basketball team could not combat a career-night for UCLA's Atonye Nyingifa as the Lions fell 84-43 to the Bruins Sunday at Gersten Pavilion.
The first 20 minutes of play featured six tie scores and 10 lead changes as the Lions (2-6) shot 38 percent from the field, including 6-of-11 (55 percent) from three. UCLA (5-2) did not have the outside touch in the first half, but made up for it by going 9-for-13 from the charity stripe.
LMU's go-to Alex Cowling was called for her second personal foul just 2:30 into the game and subbed out at 15:33 with the Lions trailing 7-5. Three pointers by Ashley Lovett and Hazel Ramirez kept LMU rolling until Cowling checked back in at 11:51.
Trailing 13-11 out of the under-12 media timeout, Cowling sank a long three from the right wing, grabbed the ensuing defensive rebound and sank a quick jumper giving LMU a 16-15 lead and forcing a UCLA timeout.
The Lions led by as many as four in the first half, going ahead 25-21 on a layup by Ramirez with 6:15 remaining. A Ramirez three with five minutes on the clock made it 28-25 LMU, but UCLA scored the final nine points of the half to take a 34-25 lead into the locker room.
That shift of momentum carried into the second half as the Bruins shot nearly 64 percent from the field while the Lions went cold, making just three field goals on 27 attempts.
Nyingifa, who had 11 first-half points, finished the night with 28 points to go along with a game-high 14 boards, both career-high marks. She was 10-for-12 from the field and 8-for-11 from the free throw line. Her teammates also caught fire in the second half, as five total Bruins finished in double figures.
LMU was led by Cowling with 19 points. Ramirez added 10 with eight rebounds and Lovett chipped in eight.
The Lions play game two their seven game homestand on Thursday, Dec. 8, hosting Sacramento State at 7 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.
- GO LIONS -