Jan. 9, 2005
Los Angeles, CA (Jan. 9) - Loyola Marymount University men's basketball fell to the University of San Diego in a heartbreaker, 68-65, in West Coast Conference action on Sunday afternoon at Gersten Pavilion. Both teams traded leads in the final 16 seconds, but it was Avi Fogel's lay-in with 11 seconds remaining that was the game winner.
Trailing 64-63, the Lions executed a called play and junior Wes Wardrop hit a 10-footer with 16 seconds remaining to give LMU a 65-64 lead. It was short lived as Fogel drove the length of the court and banked in a lay-in with 11 seconds for the 66-65 lead. LMU would turn the ball over, one of 19 on the game, and were forced to foul Floyd North. He hit both free throws to make it 67-65 with eight seconds remaining.
The Lions had one last shot as Wardrop curled from the left side and had an open look. His three-point attempt rimmed out. LMU falls to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play. San Diego improves its record to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in the WCC.
Senior Charles Brown led the Lions with 14 points, while junior John Haywood added 13 and sophomore Matthew Knight had 11. It was a career-high for Haywood. Fogel led all players with 17 points, while Brice Vounang added 15 and Nick Lewis scored 12.
"This was a very disappointing loss at home," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "It was a typical WCC game in January - very physical and hard fought. San Diego played really well in the second half."
The Lions led for most of the second half, taking leads of seven several times. However, USD kept trimming the lead and would finally take a 52-51 lead on a three-point basket by Floyd North with 8:10 remaining.
"We played good defense in the first half but our turnovers really hurt us," said Aggers. The Lions forced 24 Torero turnovers on a season-high 13 steals. "We would get leads of five and seven but our inability to covert kept San Diego in the game. And in the second half San Diego's offense really picked up."
gave the Lions the lead back, 55-52, with 6:46 remaining on a three-point play. Both Teams would trade baskets until Brown hit a three-pointer from NBA range with 5:45 remaining to make it 60-54. San Diego would not go away with Brandon Gay's first and only basket of the game, a three-pointer with 5:25 remaining, making it 60-57.
San Diego would tie it again at 60-60 with a free throw and a driving lay-up by Vogel with 4:15 remaining. Brown did it again with another three, making it 63-60 with 2:22 on the clock. Corey Belser then had a steal and a lay-up to make it 63-62 with 1:13 remaining. Vounang gave the Toreros a 64-63 lead with 32 seconds remaining to set-up the final set of plays.
"Wes made a great shot to give us the lead with about 16 seconds to play," said Aggers. "Then Vougel responded going coast to coast and made a great play himself. At the end Wes had a great look to win. We ran the play well. It just didn't fall."
Both teams shot less than 40 percent in the first half as LMU took a 27-23 lead. However, both teams did better than 50 percent in the second frame. San Diego finished the second half shooting 66.7 percent (16-for-24) and shot 7-for-11 from the three-point line in the game. LMU finished the game shooting 46 percent compared to USD's 52 percent.
The Lions head back on the road to take on Gonzaga on Thrusday, Jan. 13 at 7:00 p.m.
- GO LIONS -