Jan. 2, 2004
Los Angeles, CA (Jan. 2) - Loyola Marymount University men's basketball posted a 78-54 win over Colgate in non-conference play at Gersten Pavilion on Friday night. The win gives the Lions an 8-4 record, its best non-conference mark in eight seasons.
The Lions once again relied on its tough defense, holding the Raiders (6-5) to just 31 percent from the field and 20 percent from the three-point line. The Lions forced 17 turnovers and earned 13 steals to post its biggest win of the season as they head into West Coast Conference play on Thursday, Jan. 8 against Portland at Gersten.
"It is great to be at 8-4 heading into conference play," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "I am proud of our defensive effort tonight. To hold this well coached team to just 54 points is a great achievement for our team. We took away their three-point field goal and played great perimeter defense."
Four Lions scored in double figures, led by senior Keith Kincade with 18 points. Sophomore Chris Ayer tallied his first career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Sherman Gay added 16 points and nine rebounds while junior Charles Brown had 14 points and six assists. Howard Blue had 19 points to lead Colgate.
"Sherman stepped up in the second half and did a nice job in giving us a spurt. That is what a senior is supposed to do," said Aggers. "Chris got his double-double which was great to see and we had a great balance in our scoring."
The Lions, who trailed just once in the contest, pushed their lead to 14 in the first half at 27-13 when Kincade buried a jumper. However, Colgate would climb back and cut the lead to 36-29 at the break on a lay-up by Jon Foss.
The Raiders would score the first two field goals of the second half to cut the lead to 36-33 just a minute into the final frame. A quick time-out by the Lions would turn the game around.
After the time-out, LMU would go on a 9-0 run paced by Gay's seven points, three rebounds and a block in the run that spanned two minutes. Colgate would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
"During the time-out I was upset with our mental concentration to start the half," said Aggers. "But we came back and I was pleased with the way we responded."
The Lions finished the game with a 49-29 edge on the boards and finished with a season-best 23 assists. After a 50-percent shooting effort on Tuesday against Cal State Fullerton, the Lions did one better with a 56 percent effort (35-of-62) against the Raiders.
The Lions open conference on Thursday, Jan. 8 against Portland and then will take on 15th-ranked Gonzaga on Saturday, Jan. 10. Both games are at 7:05 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.
- GO LION -