Pacific defeats Loyola Marymount, 81-75

Pacific defeats Loyola Marymount, 81-75

Pacific women's basketball went on the road to Loyola Marymount and won its first game against the Lions since 2015, 81-75.

The Tigers built an early lead, but let Loyola Marymount chip away in the second half to take a one-point lead into halftime. The second half was back and forth, but a stout Tiger defense shut out the Lions by not allowing a field goal in the final 3:54 of the game to pull out the victory.

Sophomore guard Valerie Higgins led the way for Pacific with her 11th double-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes. Junior guard Jessica Blakeslee had 21 points and got the Tigers going with a hot-shooting first half. Sophomore guard Brooklyn McDavid had 18 points for her 39th career game in double-figure scoring.

For LMU, Chelsey Gipson's shooting performance was the difference maker. She had 24 points and made five of her 11 three-pointers in the game. Gabby Green, Bree Alford and Jasmine Jones all finished with at least 10 points for the Lions.

Pacific jumped out to a big 15-3 lead in the first quarter forcing LMU head coach Charity Elliot to burn an early timeout. Pacific would eventually go on to take a 19-5 lead with 4:05 to play in the first.

However, the Lions would not be shut down while celebrating senior day on their home court. They rallied back with a 7-3 run to end the first quarter and got things going in the second by getting the three-point shot going with six made threes. Chelsey Gipson spurred the charge with 10 first-half points to give the Lions a one-point lead at halftime.

In the third, the lead changed hands five times, and the Lions took a 58-55 lead into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Higgins, McDavid and Blakeslee took over to carry their team to the win. The three combined for 23 points while the Tigers shot 66% as a team in the decisive quarter. The lead changed hands three more times in the third quarter until Pacific took it for good with 3:35 to play in the game when Blakeslee hit an open jump shot.

Pacific didn't allow the Lions to score another field goal in the final 3:54 of the game in the first victory at Loyola Marymount since 2015. The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak for the Tigers.

With Saint Mary's loss to Pepperdine today, it sets up a big matchup in Moraga next Friday when the Tigers take on the Gaels. A win for Pacific would lock the Tigers into fourth place in the West Coast Conference Standings and clinch the four-seed in the WCC Tournament.

GAME SUMMARY

First Quarter

  • Pacific's hot start led to a 23-13 lead.
  • As a team, the Tigers shot 64% to start the game while the Lions only made 27% of their shots.
  • Blakeslee led the team with 10 first quarter points. she made three of her four attempts and was 2-3 from three-point range.
  • Ameela Li had three steals in the first quarter alone.

Second Quarter:

  • LMU outscored Pacific 24-13 in the quarter to take a one-point lead into halftime.
  • Gipson's eight points led all players while Green had six to help spur LMU.
  • Isabelle Parker's four points off the bench led the Tigers.

Third Quarter:

  • LMU outscored Pacific 21-19 in the quarter.
  • Bree Alford led all players with seven points and Gipson had six.
  • The Lions shot 51% in the quarter.
  • Li and Higgins both had five points to lead the Tigers in the quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

  • Pacific outscored LMU 26-17 on the way to the victory.
  • The Tigers shot 66% in the fourth quarter.
  • Higgins' nine points and five rebounds helped carry the Tigers to the win.
  • McDavid had eight points and Blakeslee had six in the fourth quarter.

Notables:

  • The win was Pacific's first over Loyola Marymount since 2015. That win also came at Gersten Pavilion.
  • Ameela Li's five points moved her to 994 for her career. She is six away from being the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000.
  • She is also three steals short of taking sole possession of fourth all-time in career steals at Pacific.
  • Higgins recorded her 11th double-double of the season.
  • McDavid's double-digit scoring performance was the 22nd of the season and the 39th of her career.
  • Blakeslee had her second career 20-point game.