LOS ANGELES - For the first time since last March, the Loyola Marymount men's basketball team took on an opponent other than themselves. In Friday's season opening exhibition, LMU shot 51.4-percent from the field to defeat Vanguard, 98-67.
How It Happened
Freshman Eli Scott opened the game with an offensive rebound and putback to mark the first points of the young season. After Vanguard took their only lead of the game on a three, Jeffery McClendon answered with a long-range three of his own to put LMU back ahead
Petr Herman set the tone early as the lone senior on the court. Herman dunked the rock on back-to-back possessions to break a 6-all tie into a 10-6 lead.
Despite the first-half lead growing to double-figures, Vanguard hung close, making it a one-possession game with 4:18 to go before the half. LMU closed out the half after that made jumped on a 19-3 run to take a 50-34 lead into the break. James Batemon's behind-the-back pass to Scott energized the Gersten crowd and helped closeout the half.
Loyola Marymount outscored Vanguard 28-6 in the paint through the first 20 minutes, and benefited from 15 second-chance points.
The lead ballooned to as high as 34 points in the second half with twelve players seeing game action.
The Lions had four players score in double-digits and finished with nine players hitting at least the seven-point mark. Scott led all scorers and rebounders with his 17 and 12 double-double, while Batemon added a game-high nine assists.
Quotes from Dunlap
"The weight is heavy in that we put a lot of stock into seeing a team that had yet to play together," said Head Coach Mike Dunlap. "Your markers are field goal percentage by your opponents, we wanted to be at 12 turnovers, but we finished with 17 and we got sloppy with the ball at the end and will show that in film, and finally rebounding advantage and we should have had an advantage."
"It was fun for me to watch Cam do what he did and it was fun to watch Eli get out there and show what he has," said Dunlap. "They shot the ball well, and they hit us with pressure to keep it close."
A Look at the Numbers
12 - The Lions stuck to Dunlap's plan and outrebounded Vanguard 51-36 overall and by a dozen on the offensive glass.
6 - The game had seven blocks, with six of them coming from 7-foot-3 Mattias Markusson. As a comparison, the Swedish center had 13 blocks his entire freshman season.
With the exhibition game played, the season comes to life in the true opener, a road test at UT Arlington. LMU opens on the road to a team that escaped Gersten last season with a three-point victory. The season opens Saturday Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. with the game being available on ESPN3.
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