Jan. 27, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It was a battle of offense vs. defense, and today the Lions showed why they are the top defensive team in the conference, shutting down Santa Clara for a 67-52 win in Gersten Pavilion. LMU pulled ahead early, extending to a double digit lead midway through the first half, and led by as many as 23 points in the game. Amanda Patton led a group of four Lions in double digit scoring, putting in 17 points in the win.
LMU improves to 12-9 overall, 4-3 in the WCC standings. The Broncos are now 12-10 overall, and are tied with LMU for third place at 4-3 in WCC games.
The Broncos entered today's game as the conference's top scoring team, but LMU held them well below their average of 74.7 points in WCC games.
SCU opened the game by scoring the first four points, but LMU quickly tied it up and never trailed again. After a free throw by Kasey Monteith tied the game at 8-8 at 13:14, LMU went on a 14-2 run to take a 12 point lead, 22-10 at 6:01 on a jumper by Jessica Vargas.
Vargas and Jenna Sybesma were instrumental to LMU's run, coming off the bench to spark the Lions. Vargas played 12 minutes in the first half, helping the Lions shut down Santa Clara's guards.
The Lions extended their lead to 18 points on a pair of free throws by Patton at 1:14 before Santa Clara cut the lead to 15, 35-20, at the break.
Patton led the Lions with 10 points in the first half. LMU shot 41.9% from the field, and limited Santa Clara to just 29.6%, including 1-for-8 from three-point range. Jen Gottschalk led the Broncos with six points in the first half.
The second half continued much like the first half, with LMU maintaining its double digit lead. A three-pointer by Patton put the Lions ahead 45-22 at 17:54. The Broncos continued to struggle on offense, as LMU maintained its defensive intensity. SCU managed to cut the lead to 13 on a pair of free throws by Tracey Walker at 3:54, but the Lions answered and held off the Broncos for the 15 point win.
The Broncos entered today's game as the nation's top three-point shooting team, averaging 9.1 per contest. Chandice Cronk was the nation's top three-point shooter, averaging 3.6 per game. Today, Santa Clara connected on three three-pointers, and Cronk was held without a three-point field goal, going 0-for-6 from behind the arc.
Patton led all players with 17 points, including four three-pointers. She also added three rebounds and two assists. Amanda DeCoud finished with 13 points, and set a season-high with six assists and matched her career-high with six steals.
Sybesma scored a career-high 12 points in a career-high 20 minutes of action. She was 6-for-10 from the field. Vargas played a career-high 20 minutes in the win, contributing two steals, two points and two rebounds.
Ogoke was LMU's fourth player in double digits, and she finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Walker led the Broncos with 16 points, all but two coming in the second half. Gottschalk chopped in 13 points, six rebounds and four steals.
LMU will hit the road next weekend, facing Portland and Gonzaga in the Northwest. The Lions will face the Pilots on Thursday night at 7:00pm, and the Bulldogs on Saturday at 2:00pm.
- GO LIONS! -