Jan 16, 2004
San Diego, CA (Jan. 15) - Loyola Marymount University men's basketball used a stiff second half defense to earn a 76-68 win over the University of San Diego in West Coast Conference action on Thursday night in San Diego.
The Lions (9-6/1-2) forced 26 turnovers and finished with a season-high 15 steals to erase a 34-31 first half deficit. The Lions forced 16 second half turnovers on 11 steals to earn their first conference win at Jenny Craig Pavilion and first of the season. Freshman Damian Martin finished the game with five steals, junior Charles Brown had four and senior Keith Kincade had three to frustrate the Toreros (3-13/0-1) in the second half.
"This was a gutty road win by our team," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "They were really determined to pick-up our effort and we did a great job in the second half."
Senior Sherman Gay finished with 25 points, four rebounds, a block and two steals to lead the Lions. Senior Keith Kincade added 23 points and seven rebounds and junior Charles Brown had 13 points and six assists, all in the second half. Brice Vounang led the Toreros with 25 points, 21 in the first half.
"Vounang killed us in the first half," said Aggers. "We doubled him more in the second half and we played with great poise and limited his touches. On offense we played with great poise against their zone and took care of the ball."
The Lions finished with 19 turnovers, just seven in the second half as they shot 63 percent (17-for-27) to finish 51.8 percent for the game. They also had their best effort of the season from long range, hitting 6-for-12 from the three-point line for 50 percent.
"We really attacked their zone and handled their press down the stretch with great poise," said Aggers. "We did a great job on their shooters to limit their touches." The Toreros finished 5-for-13 from the three-point after coming into the game averaging seven per game, third in the WCC.
After the Toreros scored the first points of the second half to make the score 36-31, the Lions went on to a 11-2 run to take the lead for good on a three-pointer by Brown with 15:45 remaining, 44-38. In the run to take the lead the Lions forced five turnovers and had four steals from Brown, Gay, Kincade and Martin.
The lead stayed around six for the next 10 minutes until the Lions took a 64-59 lead with 4:13 remaining and stretched it to 14 on a 9-0 run to put the game away. The late run was once again led by their defense as they forced three turnovers with a steal.
The Lions will remain on the road and will take on Santa Clara Saturday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The Broncos improved to 2-0 in conference and 10-7 overall with a seven-point win over Pepperdine Thursday. The game can be heard on the Lions' Audio Network.
- GO LIONS -