LMU Escapes, Beating Santa Clara 60-56

Jan. 16, 2010

Final Stats

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - LMU converted all six of its free throws in the final minute to hang on and beat Santa Clara 60-56 Saturday afternoon at the Leavey Center.

Santa Clara (2-17; 0-4 WCC) led by two at the half and sophomore point guard Alyssa Shoji poured-in 15 second-half points to put the host Broncos in position to challenge down the stretch.

However, LMU (9-8; 2-1 WCC) received a game-high 18 points from Alex Cowlings, who made 7-of-8 shots and went 4-for-4 from the line with the game in the balance. LMU posts a sweep on its Bay Area road trip. The Lions knocked-off USF 63-55 on Thursday.

Using five freshmen and the consistent play of all-league power forward Lena Gipson, the Broncos led at the half 29-27. Gipson scored 16 points, had nine rebounds and four steals.

Santa Clara recovered from a slow start, in which LMU scored the first seven points, tying the game at 12 apiece on one of Gipson's eight field goals.

Freshman guard Noe Viloria gave the Broncos its first lead, 17-16 at the 11:49 mark, swishing-in a 3 from the top of the key. Bronco newcomers accounted for 10 points in the opening period and senior Maggie Goldenberger connected on three early jumpers.

The Broncos limited its turnovers to a season's best three in the first 20 minutes and committed just 12 on the afternoon.

Shoji picked up the scoring load for SCU following the intermission, making one of her two 3s to keep the Broncos in front 39-37 with 14:42 left. Shoji leads the Broncos in scoring, assists and minutes. She finished with four helpers on Saturday, eclipsing the 100-assist plateau for her career.

Kavita Goss buried the first of two consecutive Lion 3s to allow the visitors a slim lead at 45-42 with just over nine minutes left.

Trailing 52-46 at the four-minute mark, Goldenberger scored to get the Broncos within four. Shoji closed the gap to two, 54-52 with 56 seconds remaining, on a driving layup down the lane.

Cowling made two free throws on the ensuing possession to push the lead back to four. With 14 seconds left Gipson banked-in a five-footer to make it 56-54. After two Renahy Young free throws and a quick coast-to-coast basket by Shoji, Cowling would make two more free throws to ice it.

GAME NOTES: Santa Clara was trying to avenge last season's quarterfinal loss to LMU in the WCC Tournament ... Santa Clara's 29-27 lead at the half was its sixth this season, including the second in its four WCC games ... freshman forward Becca Thomas played well off the bench for SCU, clearing a season-high five rebounds ... Lions went 14-of-18 from the line.