LOS ANGELES – The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team (7-2) was defeated by the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-6) 75-68 on Saturday afternoon at LMU. The Lions have now lost two straight games after starting the season 7-0.
CSUN got off to a hot start behind strong play from center Channon Fluker. The Matadors led by as many as nine points in the first quarter when they were up 19-10, but the Lions chipped away to narrow the CSUN lead to 22-16 at the end of the opening frame. Fluker went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in the first for 11 points.
The Lions continued to climb back in the second quarter, paced by Andee Velasco who poured in five points in the frame on a slashing layup followed by a three-pointer. Senior Makenzie Cast drew two charges to help LMU regain possession in the second, and netted a three-pointer of her own. After her 11-point first quarter, Fluker added four points in the second to bring her point total to 15 at the half as CSUN led LMU 36-30.
CSUN gained its largest lead of the contest in the third quarter, going up by as many as 12 points with 56 seconds left in the frame. Fluker secured a double-double in the third, tallying 20 points and 10 with one quarter remaining. The Lions trailed the Matadors by 10, 54-44, heading into the fourth.
Gabby Green came alive in the final period, scoring 14 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth. She helped LMU outscore CSUN 24-21 in the frame, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Matadors. Fluker’s strong play continued throughout, as she finished with a career-high eight blocks to go along with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Three Lions recorded double-figure scoring in the loss, led by Green who finished who added eight assists and five rebounds with her 18 points. Cierra Belvin posted 11 points with three assists and two steals while Bree Alford racked up her fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Cast added nine points before fouling out of the contest.
LMU next takes the court when the team travels to Dallas, Texas to battle SMU on Dec. 20. Following the Texas trip, the Lions return home as WCC play begins on Dec. 28 when the Lions host the Saint Mary’s Gaels at 7 p.m.
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