WCC Opener, PCH Cup Matchup Goes to Waves
A classic battle between LMU and Pepperdine went to extra time where the Lions would ultimately suffer a 98-91 setback.
MALIBU, Calif. - It was a classic battle between rivals LMU and Pepperdine to open West Coast Conference play on Monday in Malibu. Featuring big runs, tough defense and timely buckets, it would be the Waves why would prevail in overtime at Firestone Fieldhouse, 98-91.
The Lions (2-10, 0-1 WCC) had four players score in double-figures, led by Leslie Lopez-Wood with 20 points, including six threes. Taylor Anderson had 19 to go along with eight boards and five assists. Makenzie Cast came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points and Emily Ben-Jumbo chipped in 12.
Pepperdine (6-6, 1-0 WCC) was led by Allie Green who poured in a game-high 30 points in 13-for-25 from the field. Bria Richardson had 29 points and eight assists.
An Cast three with 6:08 to play in regulation matched LMU's largest lead of the game, 74-59, capping a 30-14 run over a 10-minute span. But the Lions would then go cold as the Waves scored nine straight, trimming the spread to six with 3:50 to go.
Pepperdine would score eight of its final 14 points front he free throw line, including a pair by Keitra Wallace with three seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the Waves went 4-of-6 from the field and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe while LMU hit just 3-of-9 and 2-of-7.
Stingy defense and rebounding was key for the Lions in the first half, keeping Pepperdine cold from the field early. With the Waves leading 15-14 midway through the period, the Lions slowly opened a 12-point advantage, 29-17, with 5:41 to go.
The run began with back-to-back Ben-Jumbo layups, followed by a pair of free throws by Cast. Anderson then went to work, scoring a layup, then collecting a steal on the defensive end which she turned into two points at the charity stripe. Ea Shoushtari briefly snapped the Lion run with a layup, but Lopez-Wood responded with a three on the ensuing possession and Bree Alford capped things off with a jumper in the lane.
Another Lopez-Wood three with 4:25 to play in the half gave LMU its largest lead, 33-20, but the tide would turn down the stretch as the Waves closed the half outscoring the Lions 15-4, closing the gap to just two, 37-35.
Pepperdine would chip away at the Lion lead early in the second half as LMU went 1-for-8 to open the period. An Allie Green layup at the 17:19 mark gave the Waves their first lead since the 10-minute mark of the first half.
With the Waves clinging to a 45-44 advantage, LMU went to work. A Lopez-Wood jumper gave the lead back to LMU, Anderson converted a layup and Cast knocked down a trey to put the Lions on top 51-45 with 14:20 to go. Three minutes later it would be back-to-back threes by Cast and Lopez that would open a double-digit advantage for the Lions, 62-51. Anderson then went to work with consecutive buckets off Ben-Jumbo assists to make it 66-51 with 9:25 to go.
The Lions finished hitting 42 percent from the field and a solid 45 percent from three, knocking down 13-of-29 from deep. LMU won the battle on the boards 47-44, including 17 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second chance points. But the Lions would also suffer from 23 turnovers and Pepperdine took advantage, scoring 33 points off those giveaways.
LMU continues WCC play on the road, traveling to face Pacific on Thursday and Saint Mary's on Saturday.
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