Loyola Marymount University women's basketball team stayed even in the West Coast Conference following a split of its home games last week.

An 83-75 triple overtime loss to Santa Clara Jan. 12 prevented a Lions sweep, after they had defeated San Francisco 66-58 on Jan. 10. Against the Dons, tight defense late in the game allowed LMU to pull away, as San Francisco managed just eight points in the final quarter.

Chelsey Gibson led the Lions with 17 points and five assists, while Gabby Green and Cierra Belvin each scored 10, and Bree Alford and Jasmine Jones each had nine points and seven rebounds.

In the thriller with Santa Clara, LMU led by four at the half but needed a late basket by Jones at the end of regulation play to send the game into overtime tied at 53.

After the first overtime ended at 62-62, Alford’s last-second jumper as time expired in the second OT allowed the Lions to knot the game at 68 and gain a third extra stanza. But the Broncos took a big early lead in the final five minutes and were never threatened.

For LMU, Alford ended with 18 points and 12 rebounds; Gibson, 18 points and five assists; Jones, 12 points and 11 rebounds; and Andee Velasco, 11 points and five assists. Santa Clara’s Tia Hay topped all scorers with 30 points.

LMU (10-8 overall, 3-3 WCC) next plays Jan. 19 against Pepperdine in Malibu, followed by games Jan. 24 at Pacific and Jan. 26 at St. Mary’s.

WCC Standings (through Jan. 12): BYU 6-0; Gonzaga 5-0; Pepperdine 4-2; Pacific 3-2; LMU 3-3; St. Mary’s and Santa Clara 2-3; San Francisco 1-4; San Diego 1-5; Portland 0-6.

Men’s basketball

The Lions suffered their first home loss of the season Jan. 12, as St. Mary’s opened a 12-0 lead to start the game, led by 25 after 14 minutes, and held on for a 71-60 triumph.

Eli Scott had 14 points and 12 rebounds for LMU, but Mattias Markusson (12 points) was the only other Lion in double figures. (the Gaels had four) Trailing 45-26 at halftime, the Lions battled back to within eight points with 1:34 to play but could come no closer.

LMU (13-4 overall, 1-2 WCC) plays at No. 5 Gonzaga Jan. 17 and returns home for a Jan. 19 contest with Pepperdine, followed by away games Jan. 26 (at San Diego) and Jan. 28 (at Santa Clara).

WCC Standings (through Jan. 12): Gonzaga 3-0; BYU 3-1; San Francisco and St. Mary’s 2-1; Pepperdine and Santa Clara 2-2; LMU 1-2 and San Diego 1-2; Pacific 1-3; Portland 0-3.

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

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