Third Time Doesn't Help Loyola

Times Staff Writer

After losing twice to Santa Clara during the regular season, Loyola Marymount had a feeling the third meeting would be different.

"We were confident," Coach Julie Wilhoit said.

Unfortunately for the sixth-seeded Lions, Santa Clara was feeling it too.

The Broncos shot a season-best 57.4% from the field and ended Loyola's season with a 68-54 victory in a second-round game of the West Coast Conference women's basketball tournament Friday at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

In today's semifinals, third-seeded Santa Clara (19-9) plays second-seeded Gonzaga (18-11) at noon and top-seeded Pepperdine (20-7) meets fifth-seeded San Diego (13-16) at 2:15.

Loyola (14-15) limited Portland to 31% shooting in a first-round victory, but the Lions had no defense for Santa Clara, which made eight of its first 11 shots to take control with a 20-11 lead.

"This was a disappointing way to end our season," Wilhoit said. "We started the game very flat. You can't give a good team like Santa Clara a head start."

Freshman guard Rachael Ziemann led Loyola with 15 points, making six of 16 shots. The Lions shot 34.4% (21 of 61). Loyola forward Adrianne Slaughter had eight points on four-for-four shooting in the first half but was shut out in the second half when she missed four shots.

Sophomore guard Quinn Thomas' 17 points led Santa Clara.

In the other second-round game:

San Diego 66, San Francisco 54 -- Forward Erin Malich had 22 points and three blocks and center Marta Menuez had 16 points and nine rebounds to help the Toreros complete a 3-0 season sweep of the fourth-seeded Dons (12-17). San Francisco rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to move within six, at 58-52, with 3:39 to play. The Toreros answered with an 8-0 run.

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