Dec. 5, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - Freshman Renahy Young scored an LMU season-high 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:22 remaining, to lift the Lions to an 81-75 victory over Fresno State Wednesday night in a non-conference game at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions (5-4) open a three-game home stand on a winning note to snap a two-game losing streak while the dropping the Bulldogs to their sixth straight loss to start the season.
Young stepped up for the Lions over the final four minutes. Her jumper from the right elbow at 2:21 tied the game at 74 before she drove the left side and knocked down a baseline jumper for a two-point Lion lead. The Lion defense also shone down the stretch, holding the Bulldogs without a field goal for the final 4:36.
FSU led 74-68 on a three-pointer by Jaleesa Ross at 4:36 but senior Valerie Ogoke hit a layup and two free throws to make it a one-point game. After Tierre Wilson missed a jumper and LMU called timeout, Young went inside and made a fall-away jumper to tie the game at 74. The Lions got a stop and Young stepped up again, this time from the left baseline for a two-point LMU lead.
With under a minute to go, Wilson was fouled but only could make one of two. The Lions came back to junior Jenna Sybesma, whose left-handed layup pushed the lead back to three with 29.9 seconds left. After another timeout, Brittany Amundsen got a good look from three but missed short. Ogoke came away with the rebound and was fouled. A 30% shooter from the line this season, Ogoke made one of two to make it a two-possession game. With the Lions playing up anticipating the three, Wilson cut back door but senior Amanda DeCoud was there for the steal, making both free throws for the final margin.
Young finished the game 7-for-11 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the free throw line while making both of LMU's three-pointers on the night. Her 23 points was more than double her previous career high of 11, set in her collegiate debut at Boise State.
Sybesma had another monster second half, making all six of her shots en route to her second straight 19-point outing. She also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds to make the most of her first start of the season. Decoud added 12 points, seven assists, five steals, and three rebounds while Ogoke chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Wilson led the Bulldogs with 23 points to go along with six rebounds. LaShaunte Stephens contributed 20 points and eight boards off the bench with Emma Andrews adding 10 points. Hayley Munro just missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.
The Lions shot a blistering 63.3% (19-for-30) in the second half to finish at a season-high 47.5% (28-for-59). two straight sub-par games from the charity stripe, LMU took advantage of 27 Bulldog fouls to go 23-for-35 (65.7%) at the line. FSU shot 40.6% (26-for-64) overall and was 19-for-29 (65.5%) from the line. The Bulldogs
Still recovering from two quick road turn-arounds last week, the Lions started slowly and fell behind the Bulldogs 19-9. LMU committed nine turnovers and missed 11 of its first 14 shots over the opening 10 minutes while FSU sank nine of its first 16. DeCoud did her part to get the Lions rolling, converting a consecutive layups off of penetration and Ogoke followed with a pair of free throws to bring LMU back to 21-15.
Fresno State started pounding the offensive glass to regain its double-digit lead, increasing it back up to 34-22 on a free throw by LaToya Brown. On the other side, the Lions continued to struggle on offense, committing 13 first-half turnovers and shooting 31.0% (9-for-29) from the floor. The Bulldogs came down from their early shooting high but still connected at a 45.2% (14-for-31) clip in the opening 20 minutes to take a 35-26 halftime lead. Young had 10 of her points by the half, one off her career high.
A much more up-tempo second half saw the Lions storm out of the locker room, making eight of their first nine from the floor. Six different Lions scored during the 17-7 run, led by Sybesma's four points. Sophomore Jessica Vargas' steal and coast-to-coast layup gave LMU its first lead of the game, 43-42, four minutes into the second half. Consecutive three-pointers from Wilson and Stephens and a pair of free throws from Stephens allowed the Bulldogs to reclaim a 50-45 advantage.
LMU refused to quit as Sybesma knocked down a foul shot and then grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in before a steal and coast-to-coast layup by DeCoud tied it up again. The Bulldogs answered back with six straight points but Sybesma responded with five of her own as the teams battled back and forth.
LMU continually pulled to within one but the Bulldogs seemingly always managed to get a stop to maintain their lead. Young's three-pointer from the corner brought LMU to 66-65 with 6:35 but FSU's Andrews answered with a triple of her own and the lead was back to four. That set the stage for LMU's final comeback and Young's heroics.
After turning the ball over 13 times in the first half, LMU committed just five in the second to help with the comeback.
Having won three in a row at Gersten Pavilion, the Lions remain at home with a pair of Saturday games against Big West Conference opponents. This Saturday, LMU hosts Cal Poly on Bring a Kid to the Game Night. Next Saturday, December 15, UC Irvine visits the Lions on Camper Reunion Day. Both tip-offs are at 2 p.m.