Playing their best stretch of basketball this season, the Loyola Marymount University women’s basketball team ran their win streak to four last weekend with West Coast Conference victories at Santa Clara, 69-60, and San Francisco, 73-66.

Chelsey Gipson’s 25 points and seven assists led the Lions in their Feb. 7 win at Santa Clara. Jasmine Jones had 15 points and seven rebounds, Bree Alford nine points and eight rebounds, and Andee Velasco seven assists. The winning effort featured tight defense in the clutch, as the Lions held the Broncos to two points in the final five minutes.

At San Francisco on Feb. 9, LMU bolted to a 36-24 halftime lead, saw it nearly melt away in the third quarter, then pulled together late to get the win as Gipson poured in 27 points, Jones added 16 and Cierra Belvin had a career-high 15.

Along the way, Alford became the all-time leading rebounder in LMU women’s basketball history, grabbing six to reach 944 in her career and surpassing Alex Cowling’s previous mark of 940.

This week the Lions (15-10 overall, 8-5 WCC) return home to play Pepperdine (Feb. 15, 7 p.m.), then host St. Mary’s (Feb. 21) and Pacific (Feb. 23).

Men’s basketball

After losing a tough game at home last Thursday, the LMU men’s basketball team exploded Feb. 9 in Portland, running away in the second half for an easy 75-55 West Coast Conference win.

The Lions (17-8 overall, 5-6 WCC) used a 19-2 run over a seven-minute stretch of the second half to lead by as many as 20, breaking open a game that had been tied 24-24 at halftime. James Batemon led the way with 28 points, Joe Quinata scored 11, and Eli Scott had seven rebounds and five assists.

“We took good care of the ball and outrebounded them in the second half,” said LMU coach Mike Dunlap. “And we had great bench contributions."

Two nights earlier, Batemon’s last-second three-point attempt fell just short as LMU dropped a 65-63 decision to San Diego, whose Isaiah Wright hit the game-winning basket with 37 seconds left.

Dameane Douglas had 15, Batemon 11 and Petr Herman 10 for LMU, which was outrebounded 33-26.

The Lions this week return to Gersten Pavilion for their biggest homestand of the season, facing WCC leader Gonzaga (Feb. 14, 8 p.m.) and second-place BYU (Feb. 16, 1 p.m.).

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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