Dec 18, 2001
Long Beach, Calif. (December 18)-- -- After losing a 16-point lead over UNLV on December 15, the Loyola Marymount (LMU) men's basketball team showed mental toughness and recovered with a 76-68 win on the road against Long Beach State at the Pyramid on Tuesday night.
Once again it was the Lions (6-4) bench that was the difference, as they came in to score 26 of the Lions 33 first half points as they recovered from a sluggish start that saw Long Beach State (3-7) run out to the 22-15 lead with 8:24 in the first half. Two free throws by senior Greg Lakey at 4:59 mark gave the Lions the lead for good 26-25. The Lions would go on a 9-2 run to close out the half and lead 33-26.
"I am really proud of how we played as a team tonight," said Head Coach Steve Aggers, whose Lions won for only the third time against the 49ers in 17 tries. It was the Lions first win ever in Long Beach and their first since 1986. "It was a big road win for our program. Once again our bench was a key. We came out a little rusty but our bench came in a did a great job."
The Lions bench has outscored its opponent in six of its 10 games, including the 39-22 advantage against the 49ers. The bench would again take a role in the Lions coming out in the second half on a 19-8 run. Sherman Gay, Sean Mollins and Robert Davis would all finish with 10 points coming off the bench.
The senior Lakey, who would led five Lions in double figures with 12 points, scored 10 points in the final frame, including back-to-back lay-ups that put the Lions up 11 with 17 minutes remaining in the game. Lakey would add nine rebounds. Freshman Andy Osborn would score nine of his 11 points in the second half after only playing three minutes in the first half due to a pair of quick fouls.
LMU began to press in the second half, which created 18 turnovers by the 49ers on 11 steals. Nine of the Lions 11 players earned a steal, including Osborn's two and point guard Eurskine Robinson's
two. In addition to the steals, the Lions would finish with 21 assists on the game, including four from Osborn and Lakey.
"We did a good job with our presses tonight," said Aggers. "We really disrupted their offensive flow and kept them from setting up their half court offense. They are a very good team when they set-up their offense."
The Lions defense would set-up their offense, as they shot 62 percent (18-of-28) in the second half and 54 percent (30-of-56) for the game. It is the second straight game the Lions shot over 50 percent as they lead the conference in shooting with a field goal percentage over 47 percent.
The Lions return home to take on USC on Saturday, Dec. 22 at Gersten Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports West.
- GO LIONS -