Dec. 20, 2012
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SAN LUIS OBISPO - The season's first road win continued to escape the LMU women's basketball team Thursday night as another big first-half deficit was too much to overcome despite a strong second half as the Lions fell 84-71 to Cal Poly.
LMU dropped to an even 6-6 on the season while Cal Poly moved to 6-5 overall.
A trio of players reached double-figures for the Lions, led by Alex Cowling with 16 points, including a 12-for-13 performance from the free-throw line. That feat matches her career-high free throws made in a single game. Hazel Ramirez had 15 points to go along with four assists while Mackenzie Kerins added her fourth double-double of the season, finishing the night with 14 points and 11 boards.
Cal Poly was led by Ariana Elegado who exploded for 20 first-half points on her way to a game-high 23. The redshirt sophomore single-handedly led the Mustang charge early going 7-for-7 from the field, including 6-for-6 from long range before missing a shot attempt.
Also in double figures for the Mustangs were Jonae Ervin with 15 points, to go along with 11 assists, and Molly Schlemer with 14 points and 11 boards.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net early before Elegado finally broke the scoreless tie with back-to-back threes three minutes into play. Kerins put the Lions on the board at the 16:24 mark with a layup off a Danielle Pruitt
A jumper by Cowling with 13:46 on the clock cut the Cal Poly lead to four, 12-8, but the Mustangs responded with 10 straight points, including eight by Elegado, to open up a 22-8 advantage with 11:52 to play.
A 7-0 Lion run cut the spread to seven, 24-17, with 6:50 to play in the half. But the Mustangs stayed hot, pushing their lead to as many as 15 before taking a 42-30 advantage into the half.
LMU came alive to start the second half, opening the frame with a 14-4 run capped by a Pruitt layup that made it 46-44 with 14:45 to play.
The Mustangs responded with an 8-2 run, opening the lead back up to eight with 12 to play. Cal Poly led 68-60 with 6:10 on the clock before LMU reeled off nine straight points, taking its first lead of the game on a Ramirez and-one layup and free throw at 4:40.
The Lion lead was short lived, however, as Cal Poly's Brittany Woodard knocked down a baseline three on the ensuing possession. The Mustangs went on to close out the game on a 16-2 run.
The Lions take a nine-day break for the Christmas holiday, returning to action on Dec. 29 at Wyoming.