First half momentum can’t carry Pioneers to win over La Verne

First half momentum can’t carry Pioneers to win over La Verne

LA VERNE, Calif. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers concluded their end-of-year California trip with a 79-54 loss to the La Verne Leopards. The Pios had a strong second quarter after the Leopards established an early lead, walking the score back to within two points with six minutes left in the half. Jessica Cerne's back-to-back 3-pointers were key to closing the gap and contributed to her second-highest scoring game of the season.

The Leopards found their momentum in the last four minutes of the second quarter, reestablishing a 17 point lead that the Pioneers struggled to make a dent in throughout the second half. Delsie Johnson scored 13 of 16 points for the Pios in the third, but the Leopards answered them point-for-point and were able to hold Lewis & Clark to just six in the fourth.

Johnson logged her fourth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Peyton Romo had her highest scoring game of the season with 10 points. Cerne contributed 12 points against the Leopards, going 3-3 from behind the arch.

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Key Moments

The Pioneers were the first to score at the start of the second quarter with a layup from Romo, which started a 7-0 run that brought the Leopards to within eight points. La Verne responded by stepping up their back-court pressure, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Cerne brought the score to 26-28 with 6:20 left to play in the half.

The Leopards regained the offensive momentum when they sunk three back-to-back three's of their own going into the second five minutes of the quarter. They extended their lead to 17 by the end of the half. 

Romo contributed another shot from downtown for the Pios at 3:10, while Hannah Martin had a key block with 30 seconds left to play, her third of the season.

Deeper Look

  • Romo recorded the first block of her career
  • Julia Barsocchini led the team with three assists, a season-high
  • The Pioneers shot 77.8 percent from the free throw line
  • Cerne shot 3-3 in free throws
  • Johnson went 9-11 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line
  • La Verne shot 40 percent from the 3-point line, sinking 14 of 35

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers concluded non-conference play against La Verne and pick back up in the new year, tipping off against Pacific on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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