Nov. 3, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - Senior Amanda DeCoud had a team-high 16 points to lead four Lions in double figures but LMU fell 78-73 to Team Concept Saturday evening in an exhibition game at Gersten Pavilion.
DeCoud's 16 points tied for the game-high while she added four assists and four steals for the Lions. Freshman Renahy Young chipped in 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench while sophomores Jenna Sybesma and Lisa Helmers added 11 points each.
Team Concept was led by Aja Parham's 16 points and six rebounds. Former UCLA standout and current Washington Mystic Nikki Blue had 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Anita Rivera contributed 11 points and Jessica Moore had 10 for the visitors.
Playing their first game in front of a crowd this season, the young Lions found themselves trailing 8-2 after two minutes but five straight points from Young, on a three-pointer and two free throws, brought them back to 8-7. Another free throw by Young pulled LMU even at 12 at 14:32 but Team Concept answered with a 9-2 run, thanks to five points from Blue.
The Lions drew within two four more times in the first half but could not get the go-ahead basket as Team Concept closed out the half on an 8-2 run to go into the locker room leading 42-34.
The Team Concept lead grew to as many as 15, 63-48, at 10:53 before the Lions began to chip away. A steal by Sybesma and lay-up by sophomore Jessica Vargas got LMU within single digits under seven minutes left. Although Team Concept extended the lead to 14, 74-60 with 4:10 remaining, the Lions mounted one last comeback down the stretch.
Two free throws by Young and a layup by junior Cassady Moore reduced the deficit to eight with 1:24 left. After two free throws by former Lion Jackie Woods put the lead back into double figures, DeCoud made a free throw and the LMU defense forced a turnover. Young drove the lane and converted to make it 78-71 with 31 seconds left and Anita Rivera missed a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left. DeCoud continued her aggressive play with a drive and layup to make it a two-possession game at 78-73 with 22 seconds on the clock. Rivera was fouled and again missed both her free throws to give the Lions another chance but Ashlee Dunlap put the dagger into her former LMU teammates by blocking Young's layup with 12 seconds left to seal the game.
LMU's defense was strong, forcing 22 turnovers and creating 18 steals. That translated to 24 points off of turnovers for the Lions, who shot 40.3% (27-for-67) for the game. Team Concept held a 45-39 rebounding advantage and shot a shade under 50%, going 30-for-61 (49.2%).
LMU opens its regular season on the road next week, visiting Boise State on Friday and UNLV on Sunday.