Nov. 11, 2007
Las Vegas, NV - Senior Amanda DeCoud's layup at the buzzer lifted LMU to a 61-59 victory at UNLV Sunday afternoon at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. The Lions (1-1) led by as many as 11 points in the first half but overcame a cold second half to notch their first win of the season and send the Rebels (1-1) to their first loss.
DeCoud finished with nine points but none bigger than her buzzer-beater that capped a frantic final five minutes. With the Lions leading by two, DeCoud came up with a big steal to take away what could have been a game-tying layup. She was fouled but, with a chance to put the game away, missed the front end of the bonus. The ball came to UNLV's Sequoia Holmes, who rebounded her own missed shot to lay it in and tie the game for the seventh time with five seconds left.
LMU elected not to take a timeout, inbounding to DeCoud. With a defender on her hip, the senior dribbled the length of the floor, pulling up eight feet out on the left wing and knocking down the shot as time expired.
Junior Cassady Moore led the Lions with 12 points, the only LMU player to reach double figures in a balanced scoring attack. Moore added five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Along with her nine points, DeCoud pulled down seven rebounds, one shy of her career high, and also had five assists and three steals. Sophomore Lisa Helmers also had nine points, on three three-pointers, and freshman Melanie Ysaguirre turned in another solid performance with eight points off the bench, including two big baskets down the stretch. Redshirt freshman Aleyse Evans continued her strong play inside with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with six points. Nine of the 10 Lions who played scored.
Holmes had a game-high 18 points, with 14 coming in the second half, as she carried the Rebels back from an 11-point deficit. Holmes added eight rebounds and Brittany Halberg contributed 11 points for the hosts.
The Lions overcame a poor shooting performance in the second half in which they shot just 28.6% (10-for-35), including starting 3-for-17. They finished the game at 35.3% (24-for-68), just a shade better than the Rebels at 34.2% (20-for-58).
The Lions got off to a hot start, forcing two early turnovers and jumping out to a 7-0 lead after a three-pointer from the corner by Helmers. The Rebels answered with a 10-2 run to take its first lead at 13:17. The LMU defense stepped it up to restore its advantage as back-to-back steals by Moore translated into fast break baskets for Moore and junior Jenna Sybesma. LMU's lead grew to as many as eight, 28-20 at 4:14 on another three-pointer by Helmers and DeCoud knocked one down from the corner to make it 33-22 with three minutes left.
UNLV went on another run to start the second half as a lid descended on LMU's basket. The Lions missed 14 of their first 17 shots coming out of the break and UNLV slowly pulled itself back into the game. A basket by Holmes tied it at 44 apiece but Moore found Ysaguirre under the basket to give the lead back to LMU.
Holmes took the game over for the Rebels, scoring 10 of their 12 points during a six minute stretch. After a steal and jumper by Holmes tied it at 50, Ysaguirre and Moore got through for layups to give the Lions at five-point advantage, 54-50, with less than five minutes to go.
UNLV wasn't done, however, going on a 7-0 spurt to take its first lead of the half. Shannon Oberg hit a long three-pointer to make it a one-point game and then knocked down two free throws for a 55-54 advantage. Holmes followed with a fast-break layup for a three-point lead.
The Lions got a big stop and an even bigger three-pointer from Helmers on the next possession to knot it at 57 with 93 seconds left. Holmes missed a jumper, giving the Lions the ball back and Moore turned the corner on a drive for a layup and a 59-57 LMU lead.
UNLV missed at the other end but the Lions could not capitalize, turning the ball over with 17 seconds left. That led to DeCoud's roller coaster ride of the steal, missed free throw, and ultimately, the game-winning shot.
The Lions conclude their season-opening three-game road trip on Wednesday at Long Beach State.