Patrick's Steal And Free Throws Seal Waves' 66-61 Win Over LMU
The victory lifted Pepperdine's overall record to 12-7 and 3-2 in the West Coast Conference, while Loyola Marymount dropped to 9-10 (3-2 WCC).
Jan. 22, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - With Loyola Marymount in the midst of a 13-5 run and trailing by three points in the final seconds, sophomore forward Kelsey Patrick forced a steal and sank two follow-up free throws that led Pepperdine to a 66-61 victory Saturday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion.
"I told Kelsey right before she checked back into the game that now was not the time to play soft," head coach Julie Rousseau said. "She went out knowing exactly what was expected of her and got it done with that turnover.
"We had a lot of young kids on the court today in tight situations," she added, "and they proved themselves time and time again. I'm proud of their resolve. This was a big win ... and I'm grateful and thankful to God."
The victory lifted Pepperdine's overall record to 12-7 and 3-2 in the West Coast Conference, while Loyola Marymount dropped to 9-10. The Lions have lost their last two WCC games after starting the month 3-0.
Today's win - Pepperdine's sixth vs. LMU over the last seven games - also counted toward the PCH Cup standings, which the Waves lead by a half point, 5.5 - 5.0, heading into tonight's 7 p.m. men's basketball game at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Patrick's (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak HS) steal was one of the nine for the Waves and couldn't have come at a more opportune time since the Lions' Candice Nichols had just finished making it a one-possession game after sinking her fourth layup over a span of 80 seconds.
Nichols, who led all players with 19 points, became a force in the lane after Pepperdine accepted a less aggressive approach near the basket when Lauren Bell (San Bruno, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) and Skye Barnett (Albuquerque, N.M./Cibola HS) both fouled out late in the game.
For Bell, who contributed 14 points, it was the first foul-out of her career.
"Aggression is our team's strength," said Rousseau, "and, to us, being in foul trouble is like placing kryptonite around Superman's neck. It weakened us."
Pepperdine was charged with 19 personal fouls, which sent LMU to the line 20 times. And while the Lions shot 70% (14-20) from the charity stripe, they missed two in the final two minutes, including one on the front end of a one and one.
The Waves shot 72% (13-18) at the line and survived two rare misses by Jackson at the 6:37 mark of the second half that if made, could have added to their 10-3 run. Pepperdine did however connect on its next two field-goal attempts, receiving buckets from T'Keyah Shealy (Englewood, Colo./Regis Jesuit HS) and Katie Menton (Coarsegold, Calif./Yosemite HS) that put the Waves back up by nine points at 57-48.
Menton's field goal with 4:52 remaining was Pepperdine's last of the game, but by hitting nine of their last 10 free throws the Waves prevented the Lions from taking the lead.
Menton's 16 points led the Waves.
"In those last timeouts Coach Julie kept telling us to switch everything around, to be in position to get the rebound once the shot went up and don't foul anyone no matter what," added junior guard Jazmine Jackson. "We also wanted to keep increasing our lead by getting at least one point every time down the court."
Sophomore guard Shay Cooney-Williams (Frisco, Texas/Frisco HS) also played a critical role in the Waves' second half offense, first hitting a 3-pointer in the opening minute, and then sinking consecutive field goals near the midway point that gave her team a seven-point cushion at 51-44.
Pepperdine entered halftime on top 37-26 despite having starters Jackson (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) and Barnett on the bench in foul trouble for a chunk of the first period. Each player was charged with two fouls as the Waves sent their archrivals to the line ten times.
LMU's Renahy Young was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, but hit only 3-of-14 shots from the floor to finish the game with 14 points.
With Jackson and Barnett held in check early on, Menton, Bell and a rotation of post players picked up the slack in both points scored and minutes played. Bell sank all three of her 3-pointers in finishing the first half with 12 points, while Menton made half of hers (3-6) in scoring 11 points.
Pepperdine shot 46% from the field in the first half on 14-of-30 shooting and better than 60% (7-11) from beyond the arc. By comparison, LMU shot 26% (8-30) and was successful on only two of its 11 3-point attempts.
The Lions continued to struggle from long range in the second half and finished the game 3-of-17 (17%).
The Waves remain on the road next weekend with games Thursday and Saturday at Santa Clara (Jan. 27 - 7 p.m.) and San Francisco (Jan. 29 -2 p.m.).