UCSB Unable to Catch Lions Late, Fall 67-61

Sarah Porter (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Sarah Porter (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – What was originally slated as a home game for the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team ended up being a third straight road match against a challenging opponent, and with it came a narrow 67-61 loss to Loyola Marymount on Monday night at Gersten Pavilion.

Poor air quality, due to the nearby Thomas Fire, forced the originally scheduled home contest on Dec. 7 to be moved to Monday, Dec. 18, however, after conditions did not improve the game was moved to LMU.

Determined to snap its eight-game losing streak, UCSB (1-9) jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead behind a pair of three-pointers from Sarah Porter and Danae Miller. Despite the quick start, the Lions (8-2) used a 9-0 spurt to take over the lead and never trailed the rest of the way. A third three-pointer in the opening period from Sarah Bates tied the game at 11-11, but LMU scored the final five points of the period to take a 16-11 lead.

UCSB kept the lead within five points for much of the second quarter until, with under two minutes to go in the half, the Lions used back-to-back three-pointers to extend the advantage to 11, 34-23. Porter stopped the bleeding with another three-pointer right before the end of the half to bring the Gauchos back to within single digits, 34-26, going into the break.

UCSB was unable to gain any ground in the third quarter, as both teams would trade baskets, but the Gauchos managed to make it interesting down the stretch.

Strong play from Drew Edelman helped whittle away at the lead in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer from Aliceah Hernandez brought UCSB to within four points, 62-58, with 3:58 remaining. From there, however, both teams went ice cold, going a combined 0-for-10 from the field the rest of the game.

With under a minute to go, LMU knocked down the free-throws it needed to escape with the win.

Edelman led all players in the game with 21 points on an efficient 9-of-13 shooting night while Porter tied her season-high with 17 points fueled by four three-pointers. The dynamic duo for UCSB both came away with a team-high eight rebounds.

LMU had four players in double figures, led by a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double from Cheyanne Wallace while Andee Velasco pitched in 15 and Makenzie Cast and Bree Alford both added 11.

UCSB shot 36 percent (23-for-64) from the field and just 24 percent from beyond the arc (8-for-33), failing to hit at least 30 percent from three for the third straight game. LMU, meanwhile, shot 43 percent (21-for-49) and got a big boost from 20 made free-throws (20-for-30) opposed to UCSB's seven (7-for-12).

The Gauchos will look forward to returning home this Friday, Dec. 22 when they welcome San Diego State (6-4) to the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m.

Season tickets and individual game tickets are available online here or call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272).