Feb. 14, 2004
Los Angeles, CA (Feb. 14) - For Loyola Marymount University Men's Basketball Head Coach Steve Aggers, seniors Sherman Gay and Keith Kincade did what seniors are supposed to do. Gay and Kincade combined for 47 points as the Lions earned a 66-64 victory of the University of San Diego at Gersten Pavilion Saturday afternoon.
For the Lions it was their second straight win in conference play as Gay finished with a game-high 24 points and Kincade finished with 23.
"Our two seniors on the floor did what seniors are supposed to do in a tough conference battle," said Aggers of Gay and Kincade, who scored all but one of the Lions' 29 second half points in the second half. "Sherman had some great blocks that led to transition baskets and Keith went crazy in the second half and took over the game in the stretch were we took a 10-point lead."
LMU, who improves to 13-11 overall and 4-7 in the WCC, finished the game shooting 50 percent and once again used their defense down the stretch to earn the win. The Lions finished with 11 steals and forced USD into 14 turnovers. They held the Toreros (4-21/1-9) to just 37 percent shooting from the field and 22 percent from the three-point line in the second frame.
"Once again I was really proud of our defensive effort tonight," said Aggers, who has led the Lions to their best record in eight seasons. "Once against our defense was the difference in the second half."
After trailing 43-39 two minutes into the second half, the Lions would take the lead on a 6-0 run capped by a steal and a reverse lay-up by Gay with 16:41 left in the game. The Lions would stretch the lead to five when Kincade stole the ball and scored on another transition lay-up with 13:21 remaining on the clock.
The bucket by Kincade was the first of five straight by the senior who would out score USD 11-2 in a four-minute stretch. The 11-2 run gave the Lions a 59-49 lead with 9:27 remaining.
USD would battle back and cut the lead to 61-60 on an 11-2 run of their own, capped by a three-pointer from Brad Lechtenberg with 4:37 remaining. However, the Lions' defense would tighten and hold the Toreros just two field goals the final four minutes.
Sophomore Chris Ayer would hit a free throw and then Gay hit two more lay-ups to make the score 66-60 with 1:00 minute remaining. Lechtenberg would make the score 66-63 with 52 seconds remaining on his fourth three-pointer of the game.
With the score still 66-63, junior Charles Brown was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one. With less than one second remaining, Mike McGrain was fouled attempting a three-pointer by freshman Damian Martin.
McGrain would hit the first of three foul shots but then missed the second. His third shot was missed unintentionally and freshman Matthew Knight tipped the ball in the air for the final .6 seconds to run off the clock for the win.
Lechtenberg finished with 12 points while the Toreros were led by Brice Vounang with 21 points.
"San Diego was well prepared and played much better than their record indicates," said Aggers. "Vounang is very tough to guard. However, we showed great mental toughness and stepped up our defense down the stretch for the win."
The Lions will take on rival Pepperdine in an LMU basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 21. The women's team will start the day at 5:00 p.m. with the men's game tipping at around 7:30 p.m. Both games can be heard on the Lions' Audio Network through KXLU 88.9 FM or LMULions.com.
- GO LIONS -