Jan. 17, 2008
Los Angeles, CA - It was a story of two different performances as LMU saw its four-game winning streak against Santa Clara snapped with an 81-57 defeat Thursday night in a West Coast Conference game at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. The Lions (9-9, 1-2 WCC) fall to .500 for the first time since December 2 while the Broncos improve to 12-4, 1-1 WCC.
Freshman Renahy Young registered her third straight double-digit scoring effort with 18 points to raise her WCC average to 17.3 ppg. Senior Valerie Ogoke made her first seven shots and finished 7-for-8 from the floor. She was one point shy of her career-high with 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Lions, who did not get much production outside of Young and Ogoke. LMU's bench was out-scored 17-6 by that of the Broncos.
Chandice Cronk scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to pace four Broncos in double figures. Tracey Walker added 16 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds while Jen Gottschalk also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Santa Clara shot 53.3% in the second half to finish at 50% (32-for-64) overall. LMU, on the other hand, was held to 32.2% (19-for-59) for the game and just 16.7% (2-for-12) from three-point range after making 46% in the first two conference games.
LMU committed only 14 turnovers but Santa Clara made them count, holding an 18-5 edge in points off turnovers. The Lions controlled the boards, 42-40.
The opening nine minutes told the story of the game as the Broncos came out hot while the Lions were flat in their first home conference appearance. Santa Clara made eight of its first 16 from the floor and forced seven Lion turnovers to jump out to a 22-4 lead with 12:10 left in the first. Cronk was single-handedly outscoring the Lions with 10 points in the early going while the Bronco defense flustered LMU into two field goals in their first 13 attempts.
LMU looked inside to Ogoke for a lift and the senior complied by making her first six shots of the game and scoring 13 of LMU's first 25 points. Still, the Broncos maintained their lead through the hot shooting of Cronk, who equaled her season average with 17 first-half points on 7-for-14 shooting to send the visitors into the locker room leading 42-25. Santa Clara shot 46.9% (16-for-34) in the first half, including 41.7% (5-for-12) from three-point range while the Lions hit on 29% (9-for-31) overall.
The frenetic pace of the game favored the smaller Broncos, who continued to take advantage of LMU turnovers, building up a 20-point lead. After getting solid bench play in their first two WCC games, the Lions sorely lacked that spark as junior Jenna Sybesma's layup with 11:40 to go in the game was the first basket by an LMU non-starter. In fact, to that point, only three Lions had made a shot from the field.
LMU plays its final home game of the month on Saturday when it hosts Saint Mary's at 2 p.m.