Olivia Lucero made one of two free throws with 11 seconds remaining and a final three-point attempt by Pepperdine's Tessa Emerson rimmed out as the Loyola Marymount women hung on for a 68-67 victory in the opening game of the West Coast Conference tournament Thursday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The eighth-seeded Lions (7-23) advance to Friday's quarterfinals, where they will face top-seeded Gonzaga at noon. The win was LMU's second in a row over the No. 9 Waves (8-22), and its fourth in the last five outings.
Loyola Marymount had a 63-53 lead with 3:27 remaining, but Pepperdine battled back behind junior forward Keitra Wallace, who made a three-pointer from the top of the key with 14 seconds remaining to tie it at 67-67.
Lucero was fouled on the inbound pass, and she made the first of two free throws for the deciding point.
Sophie Taylor led LMU with 22 points and eight boards, posting a 15-point first-half performance that helped the Lions to a 34-30 advantage at the break. Emily Ben-Jumbo had 17 points and eight rebounds and Leslie Lopez-Wood chipped in 14 points and five assists.
Wallace finished with 22 points for the Waves. Bria Richardson and Allie Green added 15 points each.
In the second game, Santa Clara defeated Portland, 66-58, and will play second-seeded San Diego in the quarterfinals. Nici Gilday had 14 points to lead the Broncos (11-17).