January 16, 2014

Hot First Half By LMU Too Much For Pacific Women's Hoops

Stockton, Calif. - KiKi Moore scored 22 points and Kendall Kenyon posted her 12th double-double, but a torrid shooting first half from Loyola Marymount was too much to overcome as the Pacific women's basketball team fell 90-84 Thursday night at the Spanos Center.

Kenyon finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Sam Pettinger chipped in 11 points and Erin Butler added 10. Down 27, Pacific reeled off a 37-18 run to cut the gap to six with a minute to go, but the Tigers ran out of time to erase the deficit.

LMU built the 27-point advantage by shooting a blistering 78 percent in the first half (22-of-28). Five Lions finished in double-figures, led by Hazel Ramirez with 25 points. Leslie Lopez-Wood (16 points), Mackenzie Kerins (16 and 11 rebounds), Deanna Johnson (14 points) and Emily Ben-Jumbo (10) also hit double-figures for LMU, which finished with the team's highest point total of the season.

The Lions, who were shooting 28 percent from three-point range on the season, drained 7-of-11 from long-distance (64 percent). LMU shot 60 percent for the game (30-of-50), the program's best shooting game in almost 19 years. Loyola Marymount improves to 6-12 on the season and 2-4 in West Coast Conference play. Pacific falls to 8-9 overall and 3-4 in the WCC.

The Tigers forced 27 turnovers with 12 steals, but turned the miscues into just 21 points. Pacific shot 41 percent from the field (32-of-78) and out-scored LMU 48-32 in the paint.

The Lions hit their first six field goal attempts as LMU opened to a 10-2 lead before Moore drove to the rim and Kenyon scored inside to cut the gap to 12-7. Pacific reeled off an 9-3 run, as Kenyon and Butler posted lay-ups and the Tigers forced eight turnovers in the first eight minutes.

Pettinger knocked down a pair of threes from the corner as the Tigers pulled within two, at 24-22. Ramirez added an and one for the Lions, but Pettinger added another three pointer. Marjorie Heard scored inside on back-to-back possessions for Pacific but the Lions continued their hot hand, as their knocked down 16 of their first 19 shots, stretching the lead to 41-30.

Hailie Eackles took it to the rim, but the Lions connected on four-straight field goals for a 48-32 lead with 2:13 to go before the half. Moore scored, but Sophie Taylor hit a three-pointer for LMU. The two teams traded free throws as Loyola Marymount led 55-36 at halftime.

The Lions finished the first half 22-of-28 shooting (78%), higher than the NCAA single-game record of 76.2%. Pacific forced 15 turnovers, but turned the miscues into just 10 points. Pacific shot 40 percent in the first half (14-of-35).

Pacific missed the first 11 field goal attempts of the second half, falling behind by as many as 27, before a lay-up from Moore and an and-one from Unique Coleman. Butler added an and-one as Pacific cut the gap to 66-46 with 13:01 to go.

Kenyon got to the rim and drew contact, with the free throws capping an 9-0 run. Ramirez hit a shot-clock beating long two-pointer to restore a 20-point LMU lead. Eackles added a three-pointer, but Ramirez took it to the rim for a bucket.

Parrish knocked down a triple, but LMU hit 12-of-13 from the free throw line. Fouls mounted for both sides, as Deanna Johnson fouled out for LMU with 14 points with 7:28 to go. Butler's jumper cut the LMU lead to 15 with 5:15 left. Coleman's lay-up capped a 9-0 run as the Tigers pulled with 80-67 with 4:49 remaining.

But Kerins finished inside as the Lions led by 13 with 3:30 to play. Coleman scored on the fastbreak after blocking a shot on the defensive end, but Taylor Anderson hit a rainbow jumper from just inside the three-point line in response.

Butler hit a three-pointer and after a steal, Moore finished on the fast break as Pacific pulled within eight. The Tigers got the stop on defense and Moore scored to close within six.

But LMU hit a pair of free throws and after the Tigers came up empty on the offensive end, LMU restored a 10-point lead from the free throw line with 52 seconds to play.

Kenyon posted a put-back, but Ramirez hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 10. Kenyon and Moore added jumpers before the buzzer to settle on the final margin.

Eackles finished with eight points, a bucket shy of becoming the 10th player in the game to hit double-figures. Coleman and Heard each finished with six points while Parrish added four assists. Moore led Pacific in assists with five, while Kristina Johnson added three.

The 84 points was Pacific's highest point total in a regulation loss since an 87-85 defeat to Sacramento State in 2007-08.

Pacific is back in action on Saturday at 2 p.m. as Pepperdine visits the Spanos Center.