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BG falls to 3-2 with Loyola loss

A late Loyola Marymount rally crowned the Lions champions of the DoubleTree LA Westside Thanksgiving Classic against the Falcons 51-48.

The Falcons made their way into the championship round Saturday with a 62-54 win against UC Irvine the day prior.

In the second half, the Falcons had as high as a 27-point lead against UC Irvine, but the Anteaters pulled within single digits. Building that significant of a lead allowed head coach Jennifer Roos to rest some of her starters in case the team was to make it to the championship round the next day. This allowed some valuable minutes for the bench players.

“We were able to open up a good lead in the second half and were able to play eight to 10 minutes with five freshmen on the court today,” said Roos. “We got some good execution from that group, and then we just ran out of gas, and they hit a couple three-pointers to cut into that lead. But overall we had good balance.”

Redshirt junior Erica Donovan led the Falcons with a double-double of game-highs 13 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Rachel Myers also recorded a double-digit performance with 10 points for the Falcons.

“We had every kid except one score, which is a huge positive, and we got to the foul line and made some shots,” Roos said. “When three-point shots weren’t falling, we were able to turn the corner and get to the rim, and either make shots or draw fouls and get to the line.”

The Falcons continued their success into the championship round against host Loyola until they encountered a shooting lull early in the second half. However, the Falcons answered with a 12-point run to take a 39-29 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Loyola’s Leslie Lopez-Wood answered with six-straight points of her own for the Lions, evening the game back up. From there, the teams traded baskets and it was tied at 48 with 1:44 left to play. The Falcons then missed their final four shots and the Lions took the game from the charity stripe 51-48.

“This was a game where I think we got better,” Roos said. “We had a chance to finish out that game. I’m happy that we put ourselves in position to win. We had a shot to tie the game at the buzzer that didn’t go, we had a layup with a chance to take the lead with a minute left that didn’t go. We executed well for the majority of the game, but just couldn’t close the deal tonight.”

Roos said the loss stung “a little more than usual” because the Falcons had the chance to win and played well the majority of the game.

“It’s a great learning opportunity for us. This trip has made us better,” Roos said. “We’ve gotten better as a team on the floor, we’ve grown together as a team both on and off the floor, and those are the things you look for. It was disappointing that we didn’t get two wins here in LA, but we got better on this trip.”

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