Dec. 29, 2002
Bozeman, MT (Dec. 29) - Loyola Marymount University fell to Siena College 79-71 in the first day of the Holiday Stores/Big K Classic hosted by Montana State University on Sunday night.
The trap defense by the Saints hurt the Lions, holding LMU to 3-of-17 from the three-point line in the first half and six-for-28 for the game. The 28 attempts is the most in over four years for the Lions, who finished the game shooting 36 percent (21-for-58) from the field and just 21 percent from long range. Siena finished shooting 55 percent (24-for-44) from the field and 50 percent (7-for-13) from long distance.
"Their zone defense was the difference tonight," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "We did not shoot well tonight. You are not going to win many games shooting the way we did. The zone did most the damage."
Leading the Lions was junior Sherman Gay with a career-high 16 points and seven rebounds. He was one of five LMU players in double figures. Freshman Brandon Worthy had 13, junior Keith Kincade and sophomore Andy Osborn added 12 and sophomore Charles Brown had 10. Siena had four players in double digits, led by Tommy Mitchell with 17. LMU falls to 5-7 and Siena improves to 6-3.
The slow shooting start in the first half led to Siena building a lead as big as 14. The Lions would take a 10-7 lead with a lay-in by sophomore Sherman Gay at the 13:35 mark of the first frame. That would be the Lions last lead as Siena would go on a 13-2 run ending with a three-pointer by Austin Andrews at the 4:51 mark of the first half giving the Saints a 31-19 lead.
LMU trailed 35-24 at halftime thanks to Siena hitting 5-for-7 from the three-point line, including a three-for-three effort by Austin Andrews, who entered the game ninth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage. Andrews finished with 13 points.
Despite the shooting edge, the Lions would once again not go away. LMU would go on a small run to start the second half and trim the lead to 45-40 with 15:16 remaining when Worthy would score five straight points. He scored all of his points in the second half.
LMU had a chance to cut the lead to three when they forced a turnover on a steal by freshman John Haywood in the full-court press. However, LMU would turn the ball right back. Siena would take advantage and build the lead back to 10 when leading scorer Propser Karangwa hit a three-pointer and Jamal Jackson hit a lay-up on a steal to make the score 50-40 with 14:27 remaining. Karangwa finished with 16 points.
"I thought we played well enough defensively to win. Our front-court trap was effective and forced them into some turnovers," said Aggers. The Lions forced 24 Siena turnovers on 11 steals. LMU turned the ball over 19 times.
The trapping defense once again found the Lions cutting into the lead. Worthy, who scored all 13 points in the second half, hit a pair of free throws to make the score 69-64 with 2:09 remaining. Worthy hit another free throw to cut the lead to 69-65 with 1:56 remaining.
However, that was as close as the Lions would get as Siena would score their final 12 points all on free throws in the remaining 2:25 of the game.