Women's Basketball Falls to Long Beach State in OT, 81-78
Lopez-Wood matched a career-best with 7 3-pointers
LOS ANGELES - Despite overcoming an 11-point deficit in the third quarter, the LMU women’s basketball battled back only to fall short in overtime, 81-78, to Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion.
Jackie Johnson notched a career-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds. Leslie Lopez-Wood matched a career-best with seven 3-pointers for 21 points, while Cheyanne Wallace outputted 19 points and hauled down eight rebounds.
LMU (5-5) trailed by 11 points in the third quarter before a 19-4 run put them back in the game at 55-55, and the score remained tied at 71-71 at the end of regulation. Long Beach State (6-4) pulled away down the stretch, capitalizing on three LMU turnovers over the final minutes to escape with the victory.
“We showed a lot of resiliency when we came back,” stated head coach Charity Elliott. “Down by 11, took the lead, just made some really poor decisions at the end of the game.”
Long Beach State opened the game with an 8-3 run before Lopez-Wood caught fire, connecting on 4-of-4 shots from beyond-the-arc, including one with five seconds left in the quarter to give the Lions a 22-21 edge at the end of the first frame.
Both offenses cooled to a stall to start the second half as the 49ers netted the first basket of the quarter 5:55 in to tie it up at 23-23. NK Ilang provided a spark off the bench, connecting on two gritty drives through the lane in the waining minutes of the quarter, though Long Beach State held a 33-30 grip on the scoreboard at the end of the half.
The 49ers opened the third quarter with the hot stroke, connecting on four of their first five shots, reeling off a 10-2 run to take the lead at 43-32 with 7:43 remaining. It was then the Lions turn to have the hot hand as they netted 12 points in two minutes. Lopez-Wood drilled her sixth triple to reclaim the lead for LMU at 46-45 midway through the quarter as the Lions pushed their run to 19-4, led by Wallace with 11 points, before Long Beach state battled back to tie it up at 55-55 at the end of the third stanza.
Both teams battled basket-for-basket down the stretch as the score featured two ties and six lead changes as the game came down to the final minute. Johnson connected on two straight baskets in the waining seconds of the game, including one with 12 ticks left before Long Beach State answered with a 3-pointer to tie it up at 71-71 three seconds later to send the game into overtime.
The 49ers opened overtime with two straight baskets to take a five-point advantage until Johnson responded with five straight points of her own to tie it up at 76-76. However, costly turnovers in the final minutes proved to be the difference as the Lions fell, 81-78.
“It’s frustrating because I felt like we had this game,” said Elliott. “We came back, we clawed back and just made some poor decision in the last minutes of the game that you can’t make. You’ve got to take care of the ball and get good shots and we didn’t make that opportunity.”
Up next is LMU’s final non-conference game of the season on Saturday, Dec. 17 against UC Riverside at 1 p.m. as part of an Alumni Day doubleheader. The LMU men’s team will follow at 4 p.m. against Incarnate Wood.
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