Los Angeles, Calif. – #25 Gonzaga used an overtime to get past Loyola Marymount Thursday night, 91-82, in a game that was hard-fought on both sides.
Each team had four players in double figures. Haiden Palmer lead the Bulldogs with 32 points, and Deanna Johnson headed up the Lions’ effort with a career-high 25 points. The game featured 14 lead changes and nine ties.
Gonzaga began slowly, trailing their hosts at 13 minutes into the half. They battled back and went on a 19-4 run to take a 44-31 lead into the break.
The Lions opened the second period with a 10-1 run to cut the Bulldogs’ advantage, and at 10:10 LMU took the lead. The back-and-forth continued through the rest of the half, until two Sunny Greinacher free throws put Gonzaga up 75-72 with four seconds remaining. Johnson dribbled coast-to-coast and was fouled on a three-point attempt. She made all three shots, sending the game into overtime.
The Bulldogs outscored LMU 16-7 in the extra period to claim the win.
Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said his team’s difficulties were due to defensive lapses and over-preparing.
“We didn’t defend with much passion tonight,” he said. “Offensively, we were pretty good, but defensively, we didn’t put the clamps down like we usually do.”
“We planned a bit too much for these guys, and got discombobulated.”
Second-year LMU coach Charity Elliott was pleased with the Lion’s efforts, and said they’ve recently come together.
“The last three weeks we’ve realized who we are and who we can be,” she said.
“Tonight I was really impressed with our composure and fight, and we didn’t back down. That’s a huge step for this program. To step on the floor against a great team and a great program and just compete. We just fought. The courage we showed tonight was incredible.”
“I don’t have any other words to say except that I’m proud.”