Dec. 17, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Handing an unbeaten team its first loss of the season is never an easy feat. And it proved too much for the Lions Saturday as the UTEP Miners moved to a perfect 10-0 on the season with a 68-48 win over LMU in Gersten Pavilion.
LMU fell to 3-8 on the season while the 10-0 start is the best ever for the Miners.
Trailing 15-2 early, the Lions began to claw their way back into the game. A layup by Emily Ben-Jumbo, followed by five straight points by an Alex Cowling made it 15-9 with 12:45 remaining.
The Miners stretched the lead to nine, 18-9, with just under 10 on the clock, but a fastbreak layup by Danielle Pruitt and a three-pointer by Cowling cut the LMU deficit down to four.
A four-minute UTEP scoring drought ended at the 5:53 mark before the teams traded baskets, making it 23-19 at 4:55. But the Miners' offense got hot again as the period wound down, as they closed on a 12-6 run to lead LMU 37-25 at the break.
The Lions scored the first four points of the second half, cutting the deficit to single digits, 37-29, but a 7-0 run by the Miners opened the spread back to 15. LMU made one more run midway through the half, as eight straight points cut the deficit to 10, 49-39. But that was as close as they would get as UTEP pulled away once again down the stretch.
Cowling finished with game-highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds - her third consecutive double-double. She also went a career-best 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
UTEP was led by Kelli Willinghman's 18 points, including 4-of-7 from three. Gloria Brown came off the bench to add 11 points for the Miners.
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion on Monday, Dec. 19, hosting Cal Poly in a 7 p.m. tip-off. The match-up marks the final non-conference game for LMU before opening WCC play on Dec. 29.
- GO LIONS -