Dec. 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES - In their final game before the holiday break, the LMU women's basketball team gave themselves and their fans an early Christmas present. Staving off a furious Cal Poly run in the final minute, the Lions held on for a 73-72 win Monday night in Gersten Pavilion.
Perhaps inspired by the four top career three-point shooters in LMU history (Renahy Young, Lisa Helmers, Amanda Patton and Rachael Ziemann) sitting courtside Monday night, Monica DeAngelis sank an LMU record-tying seven three's on her way to a career-high 27 points. She joins Patton and Ziemann atop the program's single-game three-point field goal list.
Alex Cowling notched her fourth consecutive double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but it was a quite performance for the Lions' leading scorer as her supporting cast stepped up big against the Mustangs. Cowling added a career-high seven assists.
Courtney Collishaw and Danielle Pruitt combined for the Lions first 13 points as LMU found itself in a 15-13 ballgame nine minutes in. DeAngelis took the torch next as a three-pointer by the redshirt junior gave the Lions a 16-15 lead at 10:54. DeAngelis remained on fire, pouring in 11 straight points as the Lions took a 24-17 lead.
Back-to-back layups by Cal Poly's Kristen Santiago cut LMU's lead to four, but a four-point play by Alex Cowling pushed the spread back to seven, 28-21, at the 7:36 mark.
A 9-0 Cal Poly run capped by a Caroline Reeves layup gave the Mustangs a 30-28 lead with just under five minutes remaining, but seven points by DeAngelis and four free throws by Hazel Ramirez
gave LMU a 39-32 advantage at the break.
Cal Poly took its first lead of the second half, 43-41 at the 16:34 mark. A Cowling three at 12:17 put LMU in front 51-46. The Mustangs then broke out a 14-4 run that put them in front 60-55 with 7:14 remaining.
But DeAngelis responded again as a long three made it 60-58 and her seventh long ball of the night put the lead back in the Lions' hands, 63-62, with just over five minutes on the clock.
With 32 seconds remaining, a pair of Hazel Ramirez free throws gave LMU a 71-68 lead. Bu the Mustangs were not finished as a Reeves' jumper on the following possession brought the visiting team to within one. Ariana Elegado stole the ensuing inbounds pass by the Lions and Santiago scored her game-high 33rd point, putting the one-point lead back in the Mustangs' hands.
The night would then end as it began as Collishaw nailed the eventual game-winner - an eight-foot baseline jumper off a pass from Cowling. Cal Poly went the length of the court in the final seven seconds, but a fade away Santiago jumper at the buzzer came up short.
Collishaw finished with a season-high 15 points as LMU had three players in double-figures for just the second time this season. Ramirez chipped in eight points, including four key free throws down the stretch, and six assists. The freshman duo of Emily Ben-Jumbo and Ashley Lovett came up big on the defensive end, combining for seven blocks.
The Lions return to Gersten Pavilion after a brief holiday break, opening West Coast Conference play on Thursday, Dec. 29 against Saint Mary's. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- GO LIONS -