Defense Dominant in 61-52 Win at Seattle
Young scores 22, Ysaguirre has 12 rebounds
Dec. 29, 2010
SEATTLE, Wash. - Senior Renahy Young had 22 points and LMU snapped a three-game losing streak with a 61-52 victory over Seattle University on the first day of the State Farm Holiday Hoops Classic on Wednesday night at KeyArena in Seattle, Wash. Strong team defense set the tone for the Lions (6-7), who started the game on an 18-2 run and clamped down on defense, holding their second straight opponent in the fifties while winning their second in a row against the Redhawks (4-10).
Coming off a season-low one-point performance at Arkansas-Little Rock on December 20, Young bounced back with her 13th career 20-point outing and first since February 27, 2010. Young was 8-for-17 from the floor and knocked down a trio of three-pointers to go along with three foul shots that put her within three of Lynn Flanagan's all-time career record of 337 free throws made. She was joined in double figures by freshman Hazel Ramirez with 13 points while senior Melanie Ysaguirre pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds despite playing with a dislocated finger. After leading LMU in scoring in each of the last seven games, junior Candice Nichols added nine points and six boards but was held under 10 points for the first time in 13 games this season.
Both teams shot 37% but the difference was on the boards and at the free throw line. LMU outrebounded SU 53-30, including 17-4 on the offensive end. Each team sank 10 free throws but the Lions converted 10-of-15 (66.7%) while the Redhawks were 10-of-23 (43.5%). The Lions also hit five three-pointers (5-for-21 for 23.8%) compared to just two for SU (2-for-13 for 15.4%).
Salena Dickerson led Seattle with 18 pionts and five rebounds while Amani Butler added 13 points and four assists.
The Lions set the tone early on the defensive end, forcing Seattle into a 1-for-16 start from floor while opening the game on an 18-2 run. After suffering through extended scoring droughts themselves in the last three games, the Lions turned the tables on the Redhawks, holding the hosts without a point for over 10 minutes.
SU soon recovered, however, sinking six of its next nine shots to pull back to 23-18 with 1:32 left but Young, who had 10 first half points, halted the run with a pair of layups to send the Lions into the locker room leading 27-18.
Rebounds told a big story in the opening 20 minutes as LMU crashed the offensive glass to the tune of 10 o-boards while holding the Redhawks to just two. Spurred by the toughness of Ysaguirre, who was one shy of her season-high with eight rebounds (four offensive) at the half, LMU held a 25-18 rebounding edge.
Dickerson began to heat up after the break, knocking down two layups and a three to help SU cut to 32-29 thanks to an 11-5 run. But again Young proved to be the run-stopper as she went the distance for a left-handed layup then connected on a three from the corner in transition to restore LMU's double-digit lead, 41-31.
Each time that Seattle began to cut into the deficit, the Lions had an answer. A Butler three-point play made it 47-40 with 8:18 left but Ramirez countered with a three-point play of her own. Missed free throws were not aiding the Redhawks as they misfired on 11 foul shots in the second half while LMU converted six straight from the stripe to keep SU at bay.
The Lions conclude their non-conference schedule and the State Farm Holiday Hoops Classic on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. against #14 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish, who defeated Gonzaga 70-61 on Wednesday, will be LMU's third ranked opponent of the non-conference schedule.