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Missed Opportunities

Jan. 25, 2007

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Cassady Moore smashed her career-high with 22 points but it was not enough as the Lions fell to Saint Mary's 64-59 this evening in Gersten Pavilion. The Gaels led by as many as 16, but the Lions cut the lead to two points late in the second half. Missed field goals and free throws in the final minutes slowed the comeback bid and the Gaels pulled out the road win.

The Lions (11-9, 3-3) scored the first basket of the game, but the Gaels (9-10, 3-3) led the rest of the way. Moore scored LMU's first six points of the game, but SMC pulled out to a 14-6 lead at 11:49 on a jumper by Serena Benevente. LMU cut it to four, 16-12, but the Gaels scored eight straight points to take a 24-12 lead at 9:17 on a three-point play by Sheridan Arredondo. The Lions were able to cut the lead to single digits on a layup and free throw by Moore, but the Gaels answered back with eight straight points, including back to back three-pointers by Benavente and Jontelle Smith to extend the lead back to 16, 37-21 at 3:47. Again, LMU worked it back down to eight points with a pair of free throws by Amanda Patton with 10 seconds remaining in the half, but Arredondo scored as the clock ran out to give SMC a 39-29 lead heading into the break.

Moore led all players with 18 points in the first half on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. No other LMU had more than two points in the half. Arredondo and Smith led SMC with nine points each.

The Gaels held a 24-14 rebounding advantage in the first half, led by Maija Lahde and Lauren Shaughnessy who had six boards. Ashlee Dunlap led the Lions with four rebounds.

SMC opened the second half by extending its lead to 15 points, 46-31, on a jumper by Shaughnessy at 18:14. The Lions then began to mount their comeback, outscoring the Gaels 19-8 over the next 10 minutes to cut the lead to 54-50 at 8:31 on a layup by Jennifer Hall.

LMU kept battling and cut the lead to two points, 58-56, on a layup by Jenna Sybesma on a fantastic assist from Amanda DeCoud.

Unfortunately for Lion fans, that would be as close as LMU would get. Arredondo answered with a fastbreak layup to extend the lead back to four points. Valerie Ogoke was fouled on the next LMU possession and made one of two free throws to cut the lead back to three, 60-57 at 3:45. SMC countered with a layup by Eghosa Obaiza at 3:19 to extend the lead to five, 62-57.

Both teams would struggle offensively over the next few possession, with turnovers and missed shots keeping the score steady until a steal and a coast to coast layup by Patton at 1:24 cut the lead back to three, 62-59 at 1:24.

Obaiza missed a layup on the next SMC possession, and Hall was able to grab the rebound. She was fouled in the process, but missed both free throws. LMU had two offensive rebounds following the second missed free throw, but a missed layup and an offensive foul gave the ball back to the Gaels with 30 seconds on the clock.

After getting fouled, SMC's Smith made her first free throw but missed her second and Moore recovered the defensive rebound with 21 seconds remaining. However, two more LMU misses in the final seconds of the game sealed the Lions' fate.

Moore led all players with a career-high 22 points, smashing her previous career-high of 14 points. Hall added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Ogoke had seven points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three steals. DeCoud had six assists and three steals for LMU.

Four Gaels finished in double digit scoring, with Benavente and Arredondo leading the way with 13 points. Obaiza finished with 12, and Smith added 10 points. Shaughnessy led all players with nine rebounds, and added eight assists. Lahde and Smith dished out five assists.

The Gaels shot 48.3% from the field, including 50% in the second half, while LMU shot 41% overall. The Lions struggled from three-point range, making just one of 11 shots. In addition, LMU also missed several key free throws, shooting 50% from the charity stripe.

LMU returns to action on Saturday, hosting Santa Clara at 2:00pm to wrap up the first half of conference play.

- GO LIONS! -