Dec. 14, 2002
Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 14) - The Loyola Marymount University men's basketball team remained unbeaten at home by hitting 11-of-12 free throws in the final two minutes to hold on for a 76-68 win over Long Beach State Saturday night at Gersten Pavilion.
The Lions improve to 5-3 on the season and a perfect 4-0 at Gersten as sophomore Charles Brown hit five-of-six free throws in the final 2:04 to seal the win. Brown had a one of the best games of his two-year tenure at LMU, earning a career-high in points with 16, assists with eight and rebounds with eight. Long Beach State falls to 1-6.
"Charles continues to amaze us this season," said Aggers of the 5-11 guard from Hercules, Calif. "He plays with a heart of a Lion and has the weight of the team on his shoulders. He made some great plays down the stretch to get us the win."
LMU would streak to a 16-point in the second half. However, Long Beach State would slowly chip away at the lead and cut it to six with a three-point play by Cody Pearson with 5:39 remaining. It was Pearson's first field goal of the game and he hit the free throw to make the score 58-52.
"As any young team we could not stretch our lead and put the game away," said Aggers. "We would go up 10 or 12 points and then make some errors that kept the game close. We are growing as a team and we beat a very inspired team in Long Beach State."
Freshman John Haywood hit a pair of free throws and Brown knocked down a three-pointer with 4:54 remaining to build the lead back to 11.
However, the 49ers leading scorer Tony Darden did everything he could to get them back in the game. Darden, who entered the game averaging more than 18 points, had no points at the half. Darden would gather three offensive rebounds in one possession and score two straight field goals to cut the lead to 63-58 with 3:18 remaining. Darden would be the only 49er in double figures with 18.
"Darden had an unbelievable second half," said Aggers. "We did a good job overall defensively and contained him in the first half, but as any great player he got on fire." The Lions held the 49ers to 39 percent from the field (23-for-58) and 18 percent (4-of-22) from the three-point line, 20 percent lower than their average.
Kevin Roberts would cut the lead to 65-60 with 2:30 remaining on a pair of free throws. The 49ers would get no closer as the Lions would convert from the charity stripe the rest of the way. Roberts finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Lions built an 11-point lead at the 10:01 mark of the first half on a lay-up by freshman Brandon Worthy. They built the advantage thanks to a 10-0 run, holding the 49ers without a field goal for 4:10. Worthy finished with 14 points.
The Beach, however, went on an 11-0 run the next five minutes to tie the game at 21-21 when Marcel Jackson hit a pair of free throws. The Lions would finish the half with a 7-1 run, including a three-pointer at the buzzer by sophomore Andy Osborn, who had 12 points and six rebounds on the night, to post a 34-27 lead at halftime. Both Jackson and Worthy had nine points at the half to lead their respective teams.
- GO LIONS -