Nov. 9, 2007
Boise, ID - Senior Valerie Ogoke had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead LMU but the Lions could not get their 2007-08 campaign off to a winning start, falling 71-67 Friday evening at Boise State.
Ogoke was one of three Lions (0-1) to reach double figures, joined by junior Cassady Moore's 12 points. Moore also added four steals. Two players turned in outstanding efforts off the bench in their collegiate debuts. Freshman Renahy Young had 11 points while redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans had six points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Lisa Helmers added nine points, on three three-pointers, and four rebounds.
The Broncos (1-0) put four players in double figures, led by Tasha Harris' game-high 17 points. Jessica Thompson and Jamia Malone each had 12 points and Rebecca Kepilino contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.
The LMU defense held true, limiting the Broncos to 37.1% shooting while knocking in 46.6% themselves. The Lions also out-rebounded BSU 42-39 but Boise State grabbed 19 offensive boards to keep the Lions on defense.
In the teams' first meeting since 1989, the Lions jumped out to an early 8-0 lead through a three-pointer from Helmers, a three-point play by Moore, and a layup by Ogoke. The Broncos pulled back to 10-8 but the Lion defense forced three straight turnovers and converted them into fastbreak layups as part of an 8-2 run to claim an 18-10 advantage with under 12 minutes left in the first half.
LMU led 27-22 before Boise State went on an 11-0 run to take its first lead at 33-27 with 3:31 left. A three-point play by Malone tied the game at 27 before the Broncos got inside for back-to-back baskets by Kepilino and Ja'Lara Walker. The Lions went over four minutes without scoring until Moore was fouled on a three-point attempt, making two free throws. A layup by freshman Melanie Ysaguirre and three-pointer by Helmers pulled LMU within one with a minute to go. Moore made her fourth steal of the half and went the other way for the layup to give the visitors a one-point lead. Thompson knocked down a 17-footer at the halftime buzzer to give BSU a 37-36 lead at halftime.
Consecutive three-pointers by Jackie Lee and Kepilino gave Boise State its largest lead to that point, 43-38 and it stretched to 48-42 before the Lions mounted a mini-run. Sophomore Jessica Vargas sank a three from the wing and Ogoke and Aleyse Evans provided the muscle inside to make it a one-point game, 48-47, with 11:22 remaining.
The Broncos showed why they went to the NCAA Tournament last season, rattling off a 13-3 run to go up 61-50 at the eight minute mark. Young did her part to claw the Lions back, scoring five of LMU's next nine points as part of another 8-2 run that brought it back to a five point game, 63-58, with four minutes remaining.
At the end of the day, it was offensive rebounds and turnovers forced by the Broncos that sealed the game. The Lions committed 26 turnovers and the Broncos grabbed 19 offensive rebounds to prove the difference.
LMU continues its season-opening three-game road trip on Sunday at UNLV. The Lions then visit Long Beach State in a local mid-week clash on Wednesday night.