Feb. 25, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The University of San Diego women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit to defeat the Loyola Marymount Lions, 71-68, Thursday afternoon in a crucial West Coast Conference game at Gersten Pavilion.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 15-12 overall and move to 7-6 in the WCC. USD just needs to either win its season finale against Pepperdine on Saturday, or have Portland lose to Santa Clara on Saturday and they will secure a first-round bye in the upcoming WCC Tournament. With the loss, the Lions fall to 12-15 overall and 5-8 in the WCC.
With the Toreros trailing by 10 points with 6:25 to go at 64-54, a Morgan Henderson jumper sparked a 11-0 San Diego run over the next four minutes with three different Toreros scoring a basket to give the Toreros a one-point edge at 65-64 with 2:56 to go. The two teams the traded basket-for-basket over the next two minutes of action until the Lions fouled Dominique Conners with :23 remaining. Conners then hit a pair of free throws, followed by a pair of Morgan Woodrow free throws to give USD a 71-68 lead with just two ticks left on the clock. The Lions had one last attempt to tie the game as Renahy Young hit a half court shot that would have tied the game, but the officials said it was a split second too late, and waved off the basket giving USD the victory.
Conners scored a game-high 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor and she recorded seven steals. The second of three Toreros in double figures was Woodrow with 17 on 5-for-10 shooting from the floor and senior Henderson dropped in 16 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. As a team, USD shot .448 from the floor and out rebounded the Lions 34-31.
In the first half, the Toreros jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the first three minutes of action, a run that was sparked on a Sam Child jumper and capped on a Conners lay-up. But the Lions then went on a 15-3 run of their own to take a 17-10 lead with 12:00 to go.
LMU would go on to build up its lead to as many as 12 at 31-19 with 7:42 to go, but a Conners lay-up then ignited a 13-3 San Diego run that saw Conners score 10 of USD's 13 points to pull USD to within three at the half, down 35-32.
In the second half, it was a close nit battle in the early going as USD would grab a brief lead at 36-35 on a Nya Mason jumper with 18:35 to go. But the Lions would quickly regain the lead and hold onto a 3-5 point lead over the next six minutes of action. Then with the score at 55-51 in favor of LMU, a Young 3-pointer sparked a 9-3 Lions run to give the home team a 10-point lead at 64-54, which set the stage for the Toreros heroics.
San Diego will return to action on Saturday as they travel to Malibu, Calif. to take on Pepperdine University in a nationally televised game on ESPNU. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Meet the Toreros: Nassir Barrino
6'0" freshman guard from Newark, New Jersey.
Meet the Toreros: José Martinez
6'10" freshman forward from Cayey, Puerto Rico.
Meet the Toreros: Frank Ryder
6'10" freshman forward from Boulder, Colo.
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