Women's Hoops Nipped By San Diego, 73-71

GeAnna Luaulu-Summers (photo by Meghan Laurel photography)
GeAnna Luaulu-Summers (photo by Meghan Laurel photography)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - GeAnna Luaulu-Summers scored 21 points while Ameela Li, Emily Simons and Callie Owens each added 11 points, but San Diego posted a big third quarter to escape with a 73-71 win.

The Tigers led by 14 in the second quarter, but San Diego used an 18-0 run in the third quarter to lead by 11. Pacific rallied back to tie the game late in the fourth, but USD tallied four straight points for the lead with 38 seconds remaining. The Tigers answered back with three points from Clayton, but Pacific was denied a shot at a go-ahead basket by a phantom jump ball call giving possession back to San Diego, and the Toreros hit one of two free throws to settle on the final margin.

Pacific shot 43 percent for the game, while San Diego connected at 51 percent. Mauriana Clayton chipped in six points with a team-high nine rebounds, while Chelsea Lidy added seven points.

Lidy opened the scoring with a pull-up jumper, but the Toreros answered back with a pair of inside buckets. Unique Coleman drove and tied the game at 4-4. Simons answered a USD bucket and added a three-pointer for a 9-8 lead. Simons added a pair of free throws and a bucket off a Coleman steal for a 13-9 lead. Owens added a triple, but San Diego came back with a three from Ana Ramos to pull within one, 16-15. After a bucket by Sydney Williams, Owens struck again from deep and Li fed Mauriana Clayton underneath for a basket as Pacific led 23-18 after the first quarter.

In the second, Lidy hung and hit for a seven-point lead, and Li scored in transition for a 27-18 Pacific lead. Li answered a San Diego bucket with a three-pointer as Pacific led 30-20. Li hit another three and Jenelle Grant finished inside as the Tigers led by 14, 35-21. After a pair of San Diego inside tallies, Li struck again from deep, but the Toreros pulled within nine before Owens hit a three and Cori Woodward hit a deep two before the end of the half and Pacific carried a 42-32 lead into halftime.

Pacific shot 51.7 percent in the first half, while USD connected at 46.7 percent. The Tigers drained 7-of-15 from three-point range.

Katherine Hamilton scored San Diego's first five points of the second half, with Lidy added a lay-up for the Tigers to maintain a 10-point lead at 47-37. From there, the Toreros surged in front with an 18-0 run, forcing five turnovers and hitting seven consecutive five goals. San Diego closed the quarter up 59-48 lead, outscoring Pacific 27-6 in the period. San Diego shot 11-of-16 in the period to the Tigers 2-of-9.

In the fourth, Luaulu-Summers hit a pair of free throws and scored a transition lay-up. Owens added a jumper as the Tigers closed within 59-54. Luaulu-Summers answered a USD put-back with a driving lay-up and then added a three to cut the gap to 63-59. Luaulu-Summers answered a San Diego bucket with another three and then picked up the hoop and some harm, with the free throw tying the game at 65-65. Simons gave the Tigers a 67-65 lead to cap an 8-0 Pacific run.

San Diego answered with a lay-up from Aubrey Ward-El and a pair of free throws for a 69-67 lead. Hamilton drove and finished as USD led 71-67 before Clayton scored while being fouled with 28.5 seconds to go to pull within one. But San Diego hit one-of-two free throws for a 72-70 lead with 26 seconds left. Luaulu-Summers drove and got to the line with 15 seconds remaining, hitting the first free throw before Clayton grabbed the rebound on the second free throw attempt and turned away from the baseline. However, San Diego was awarded a jump ball call, and held the arrow. The Toreros hit one of two free throws, and a three-quarter court heave fell short for Pacific.

Ward-El led the Toreros with 17 points, while Woodward finished with 16. Williams chipped in 12 points for San Diego.

The Tigers fall to 9-15 overall and 5-8 in West Coast Conference play. San Diego improves to 11-12 overall and 5-8 in the WCC.

Pacific will travel to Santa Clara for a Saturday match-up against the Broncos. The Tigers will hope to have Desire Finnie back in the lineup for the 2 p.m. tip-off as the junior guard, who is second on the Tigers in scoring, missed Thursday's contest.