Lions Drop WCC Opener at BYU
Deanna Johnson led LMU with 18 points while Hazel Ramirez chipped in 17 in Provo.
Dec. 28, 2013
PROVO, Utah - Opening West Coast Conference play at BYU, the LMU women's basketball used a late rally to get within seven points of the 10-1 Cougars, but would eventually settle for a 90-72 setback at the Marriott Center Saturday afternoon.
The Lions fall to 3-9 overall while the Cougars improve to 11-1 on the season and 1-0 in WCC play.
Jennifer Hamson led BYU with a career-high 31 points, including 20 in the first half on 8-of-12 shooting. Lexi Eaton added 18 points as the Cougars had four total players in double figures.
Trailing by 20 early in the second half, the Lions began to chip away slowly, eventually using a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to just seven, 73-66, with 6:01 to play. Melinda Gomez was a huge spark of the bench to get the run going as she hit back-to-back buckets and came up with a big block that resulted in an empty BYU possession followed by a pair of free throws for Ramirez at the other end of the court.
The LMU run would run out of gas, however, as BYU was able to pull away down the stretch, hitting better than 58 percent front he field for the game.
The Lions won a slight 41-40 edge on the boards, including 19 offensive rebounds, while also turning the ball over just 13 times to the Cougars' 20 giveaways.
A slow start to the game saw BYU just out to a quick 7-0 lead before a jumper by Johnson halted the run at the 17:30 mark.
A pair of Hamson free throws would give the Cougars their first double-digit lead, 19-9 with 11:31 to play, and BYU would push the spread to as many as 16 in the first half as they hit better than 65 percent from the field.
LMU would find some momentum in the final minute, scoring six straight points courtesy of baskets by Taylor, Taylor Anderson and Ramirez to trail just 46-36 at the break.
The Lions remain on the road to conclude this opening weekend of WCC play, traveling to face San Diego on Monday, Dec. 30. Tip off at the Jenny Craig Pavilion is scheduled for 6 p.m.