March 4, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Lions fell to Pepperdine, 59-58 in the semifinals of the WCC Basketball Championships this afternoon in Spokane, WA. After falling behind in the first half, the Lions battled back to take the lead in the second half. LMU had a chance for the win, but a last second attempt fell short.
It was not a particularly pretty first half, as the teams combined to turn the ball over 20 times. There was a stretch in the first half when LMU turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, but the Lions settled down and then forced the Waves into eight turnovers over the final 6:21 of the first half. Pepperdine got into foul trouble inside, with four players committing at least two fouls in the first half. LMU outscored Pepperdine, 7-3 over the final 5:26 to cut the lead to four, 28-24, heading into halftime.
Bianca Ziemann and Valerie Ogoke led LMU with six points in the first half, as the Lions shot just 32% from the field. Sherriel Boyd led all scorers with seven points, and Daphanie Kennedy added six points. Jasmane Clarendon led all players with six rebounds, while Ashlee Dunlap had five rebounds to lead LMU.
The Lions battled back in the second half, tying the game at 30-30 at 17:33 on a three-point play by Bianca Ziemann. The game went back and forth for the next eight minutes, and a three-point play by Clarendon gave the Waves a 46-45 lead. The Lions would get cold and struggle to score, and Pepperdine extended its lead to six points, 55-49 at 5:13. However, the Lions kept battling and cut the lead to 55-52 at 2:06 on a free throw by Dunlap. Teiosha George made a layup on the next possession to extend the lead back to five, 57-52. Ogoke answered with a basket at 1:19 to cut the Pepperdine lead back to three points, 57-54.
Neither team could score over the next minute, but a driving layup by Amanda DeCoud cut the Pepperdine lead to one point, 57-56 with 13 seconds remaining. LMU fouled Kennedy on the next possession, and the sophomore guard hit by free throws to extend the Pepperdine lead back to three points, 59-56.
After an LMU timeout, Patton was fouled on a three-point attempt, and made her first two free throws to cut the Wave lead to 59-58. After a Pepperdine timeout, her third attempt was short, but the junior guard was able to knock the ball out of bounds off of a Pepperdine player and the Lions had one last chance with 2.4 seconds remaining in the game. Patton's three point attempt at the buzzer missed, and the Waves advance into the WCC Championship game with the 59-58 win.
Missed free throws hurt the Lions, as the team shot just 53.5% (14-for-26) from the line. LMU improved its field goal percentage to 41.9% in the second half, and limited its turnovers to just four in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Dunlap led LMU with 13 points and nine rebounds. Ogoke and Bianca Ziemann each added 10 points for the Lions. Kennedy led all players with 18 points, and George chipped in 11 points for the Waves. Dunlap and Ogoke led LMU with nine rebounds each.
LMU concludes its season with a 17-12 record, while Pepperdine improves to 13-16 on the season. Pepperdine will face the winner of the Santa Clara vs. San Francisco semifinal in the WCC Championship game on Sunday at 1:00pm.