Lions Fall in The Pit, 74-55
Young scores 17 but LMU halted by New Mexico
Dec. 12, 2009
Albuquerque, N.M. - LMU saw its four-game road winning streak snapped, 74-55, at New Mexico on Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game in front of 7,038 fans at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. Junior Renahy Young led the Lions (5-5) with 17 points while the Lobos (7-3) record their second straight overall and third in a row in the series.
After passing the 900-career point plateau on Wednesday at Cal State Fullerton, Young led the Lions put up 14 of her 17 points in the first half. She was joined in double figures by sophomore Candice Nichols with 10. Senior Jenna Sybesma added eight points. Sophomore Alex Cowling, who came into the game as LMU's leading scorer, was held to six points but did grab a game-high eight rebounds.
Turnovers hurt the Lions, who committed 16 to UNM's seven. The Lions' giveaways led to a 22-12 advantage for the Lobos in points off turnovers. LMU shot 34.5% (19-for-55) overall and 26.3% (5-for-19) from three-point range while knocking down 80% (12-for-15) at the line. The Lions held a 39-38 rebounding edge.
Lauren Taylor led all scorers with 20 points as UNM put four players in double figures. Sara Halasz and Amy Beggin had 13 apiece and Jessica Kielpinski added 10 points and six boards.
UNM shot 43.3% (29-for-67) for the game, including 40% (6-for-15) from long range. The Lobos were also near-perfect at the line, going 10-of-11 (90.9%).
Having never won in three previous trips to The Pit, LMU started strong to try to nullify the raucous crowd. The teams were evenly matched over the first nine minutes, with neither managing to muster any sort of advantage. After six ties and four lead changes, it was New Mexico who gained some separation with six points from Halasz as part of a 10-2 run to take a 25-17 lead with 7:01 to go.
From that point on, the Lions and Lobos were going in opposite directions, shooting-wise. UNM was just heating up, hitting seven of its last nine shots of the half, while the Lions connected on just three of their final 11. Young was doing her best, sinking 5-of-7 for 14 points in the first half to reach double figures for the 12th consecutive game dating back to last season. She got little help from her teammates, however, as the rest of the team was 4-for-19 and the Lions trailed at the break, 39-26.
Turnovers plagued LMU to open the half, as the Lions gave it away on four of their first five possessions. New Mexico took full advantage with back-to-back threes by Amy Beggin and Taylor and a Halasz jumper that completed an 8-0 run to start the half, and 12-0 going back to the first, for a 47-26 lead.
LMU recouped and halted the run through a jumper by Sybesma and consecutive threes from senior Kavita Goss, who then threaded a pass underneath to Cowling to bring the Lions back to 49-38. A mini-spurt from the Lobos took the lead back up to 15 but a Cowling layup and three-pointer from sophomore Candice Nichols made it a 10-point game, 53-43, with 10 minutes to go.
Every time the Lions looked to make a run, however, the Lobos would answer to hold them off. First it was Amanda Best crossing over in the lane to push the lead back to 12 and then a three from Halasz and five straight points from Beggin on a long two in the corner and a three from the wing pushed it back above 20 after LMU had cut it to 13. .
The Lions' four-game road winning streak was the program's longest since winning five in a row in 2005-06.
LMU returns to California for finals next week and then a two-game homestand. The Lions host Cal Poly on Saturday, December 19 at 1 p.m. and then San Diego State on Monday at 6 p.m. Both games will be part of doubleheaders with the LMU men's team and can be heard live on KXLU 88.9 FM.