WBK | LMU Holds Off Gaels' Comeback In WCC Opener
The Saint Mary's women's basketball team made a second-half push to come from behind Thursday but fell short at LMU
LOS ANGELES -- It was another comeback-to-be Thursday for the Saint Mary's women's basketball team in a West Coast Conference opener between two of the conference's preseason top-five teams, but like their last time out the Gaels fell victim to a big fourth-quarter run by their opponent, with this time Loyola Marymount securing a 69-57 win at Gersten Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- For the second straight game the Gaels (7-5, 0-1 WCC) whittled down a double-digit third quarter deficit to just one possession, going on a 9-0 run at the end of the third and start of the fourth to make it 54-51. Emily Codding got the run started with back-to-back baskets at the end of the third period. Katie Rathbun's 3-pointer and Tyra Moe's layup to start the fourth made it a three-point game.
- But like the last time at Purdue, SMC's opponent responded with a big fourth quarter run to pull away for the victory. LMU (9-3, 1-0 WCC) answered with eight straight points and a 15-4 run overall to stretch its lead to a game-high 14 points at 69-55 with just 76 seconds left. Saint Mary's turned the ball over eight times during the Lions' run and shot just 1 for 9.
- Turnovers posed a problem for the Gaels Thursday as they handed the ball over 24 times - their second-most this season. That resulted in 24 Loyola Marymount points. Six Gaels turned the ball over multiple times while LMU grabbed 15 steals - the second-most takeaways allowed by SMC this season.
- But the Gaels were strong in the rebounding department, establishing themselves as the WCC's force to reckon with on the glass after outrebounding the conference's top rebounding team, 41-28. That included a plus-10 advantage on the offensive side (21-11).
- Saint Mary's led 19-18 after the first quarter. Megan McKay scored all of the Gaels' first 10 points. But like a foreshadow of things to come, LMU ended the first and started the second quarter with a 13-0 run, taking a double-digit lead for most of the second and third frames.
- 10: 10 different Gaels scored at least two points Thursday. All 13 active players played in the game, with no one playing more than 24 minutes and 10 of them playing at least 14.
- 12: Joy Akaegbu-Cleveland scored a career-best 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting. She also grabbed six rebounds in what was a career-high 21 minutes played.
- 24: The Gaels' 24 turnovers marked the fifth time they have had at least 20 in a game this season. They are 1-4 in those contests.
- 41: The Gaels' 41 rebounds marked the sixth time they have had at least 40 rebounds in a game this season. Thursday's loss was their first defeat in those contests, moving their record to 5-1.
- Saint Mary's hosts its first home West Coast Conference game of 2017-18 at 2 p.m. Saturday versus BYU. Tickets are available for purchase on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx. Fans can find all live coverage links on SMCGaels.com.
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