STOCKTON, Calif. - The Pacific women's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start, falling to Loyola Marymount, 65-52, Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. GeAnna Luaulu-Summers led the Tigers with 16 points and six assists, while Desire Finnie added 11 points.
Najah Queenland tallied six points and nine rebounds, but LMU's Jackie Johnson scored 29 points with 18 rebounds and five blocks to power the Lions.
LMU opened with a 13-3 run and held Pacific at bay by hitting 21-of-27 from the free throw line. Pacific struggled to get to the stripe, finishing with 9-of-12 from the free throw line. The Tigers are averaging 22 free throw attempts in conference wins, and 12 in conference losses.
Pacific shot 29.7 percent for the game, 19-of-64, while LMU shot 38.5 percent, 20-of-52.
The Lions hit six of their first eight shots, including 4-for-4 from Johnson to build a 13-3 lead four minutes in. Luaulu-Summers connected on a three with the shot clock expiring but the Lions answered right back with a triple. Finnie drained a trey from the corner and Najah Queenland drove and finished as the Tigers chipped away. Queenland added another driving lay-up as the Tigers closed within 18-15 at the end of the quarter.
After Finnie drove and finished, Andee Velasco hit a three from the corner for LMU for a 24-17 lead. Luaulu-Summers drove and fed Mauriana Clayton for a lay-in as the Tigers pulled within 26-21. Johnson hit a baseline jumper as the LMU lead surged to 32-23. Clayton added another jumper before threes from Luaulu-Summers and Unique Coleman brought the Tigers within 36-31 at the half.
Pacific shot 39.3 percent in the first half, to LMU's 40.6 percent from the field, while LMU held an advantage in rebounds 20-5, and a 10-3 margin in second chance points.
Finnie drilled a jumper to start the second half and Luaulu-Summers added a bucket to pull within one, but LMU stretched the lead with an 9-0 run over 6:12. After a pair of free throws from Eli Lopez Sagrera, Ameela Li hit a three from the corner. Luaulu-Summers added a baseline jumper, but Leslie Lopez-Wood hit a runner at the buzzer for a 48-42 LMU lead headed into the fourth.
Lopez Sagrera answered a pair of LMU buckets with a baseline jumper and Finnie connected on a floater. Finnie answered a pair of LMU free throws with another jumper. But the Tigers where whistled for back-to-back offensive fouls, curbing momentum and the Lions lead swelled to 13 from the free throw line as LMU hit 9-of-9 from the stripe in the fourth quarter.
Pacific falls to 8-12 overall, 4-5 in West Coast Conference play. LMU improves to 9-11 overall, 4-5 in WCC action.
The Tigers will travel to San Francisco for a 2 p.m. tip-off on Saturday against USF.