Second Half Difference as LMU Falls at UCI, 60-39

Dec. 18, 2010

Box Score

IRVINE, Calif. - The winter chill hit LMU in Irvine on Saturday as UC Irvine used a strong second half push for a 60-39 victory at Bren Events Center. The Lions (5-6) held a halftime lead but the Anteaters (7-4) won their seventh game in their last eight by knocking down seven threes after the break.

Junior Candice Nichols reached double figures for the 11th straight game with a team-high 12 points and senior Renahy Young just missed her first career double-double with nine points and nine rebounds to go along with five steals.

LMU had a strong defensive effort in the first half but had to weather an offensive drought in the second half as UCI found its rhythm. After shooting 41% for a three-point halftime lead, the Lions were just 23.8% from the floor in the second, including an 11-minute stretch without a basket, to finish at 32.6% (14-for-43) overall. The Lions shot 14.3% (3-for-16) from three-point range and 66.7% (8-for-12) at the line while committing 19 turnovers.

Mikah Maly-Karros had game-highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds, her seventh double-double of the season, in her first game against her former team after transferring out of LMU last December. Jacquelyn Marshall added 10 points and Tayler Champion and Jade Smith-Williams each had eight for the Anteaters, who outscored the Lions 41-17 in the second half to become the first team from the Big West Conference to defeat LMU this season.

UCI shot 50% in the second half, with half its buckets coming from three-point range, and 37.9% (22-for-58) overall. The Anteaters hit 7-of-12 from three in the second half following an 0-for-11 performance in the first for 30.4% (7-for-23) from three and connected on 90% (9-of-10 at the line. UCI also held a 35-32 rebounding edge.

The first seven minutes were no indication of what was to come as LMU connected on six of its first eight shots. After going 0-for-15 from three-point range last Saturday at Portland State, two early threes from sophomore Courtney Collishaw and Young helped the Lions jump out to a 14-10 advantage. The Lions were sharing the ball and getting production as their first eight baskets came from seven different sources as the lead grew to as many as seven, 21-14, with 4:52 left in the first.



LMU's defense was also playing well, limiting the Anteaters to just 27% shooting, including 0-for-11 from three-point range, to carry a 22-19 lead into the break.

It would all change in the second half as UCI exploded out of halftime on a 9-2 run to take its first lead since 17:40 of the first half. A three from the corner by Marshall, UCI's first of the game, gave the hosts a 26-24 advantage and Jazmyne White followed with a steal and layup to conclude the run.

After going o-fer in the first half from three, UCI was getting the long-ball to drop after the break, sinking seven of their first 11. Back-to-back threes from Champion broke a 28-all tie and kick-started a 23-4 run that included more threes from Maly-Karros and Marshall and was capped by a long three at the shot-clock buzzer by Kelly Meggs for a 51-32 lead with 4:38 left. Meanwhile, LMU just could not connect from the floor, going more than 11 minutes without a basket until Nichols' long three with 4:52 remaining was LMU's first basket since the 15:56 mark.

The loss was the first for the Lions against a Big West Conference school this season after winning their first four versus the conference. The Lions have been held under 40 points in consecutive games in suffering their first losing streak of the year.

LMU makes the long trip out to visit Arkansas-Little Rock on Monday before breaking for a week for the holidays. Tip-off is 5 p.m. Pacific Time.



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