Dec. 30, 2002
Bozeman, MT (Dec. 30) - For the first time in four games the Loyola Marymount University men's basketball team took a lead into halftime and stretched the lead to as many as 11 points as they held on to defeat South Carolina State 74-69 on Monday night at the Holiday Stores/Big K Classic in Bozeman, Mont.
It wasn't easy for the Lions as they had to hold off a rally by the Bulldogs, who cut the lead to 69-67 with 1:49 remaining. However, LMU would hit on key free throws to snap a four-game skid. The Lions improve to 6-7 on the season and SCSU falls to 2-7.
The Lions were led by junior Keith Kincade with his first career double-double, scoring 11 points with 11 rebounds. Sophomore Andy Osborn had another solid game, leading the Lions with 22 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Brandon Worthy finished with 13 points and freshman Wes Wardrop had a career-high nine assists.
"We found a way to win," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "Keith Kincade had a double-double and Andy Osborn scored 22 with nine rebounds. They played well. It is nice to get back into the win column."
Once again LMU struggled to start the game, as they shot 18 percent at one point in the first half and fell down by as many as nine points twice in the first frame. They finished the game hitting just 39 percent (22-for-57) from the field, compared to the Bulldogs 48 percent (23-for-48).
SCSU took a 22-13 lead on Thurman Zimmerman's second three-pointer of the half with 8:22 remaining. Zimmerman led all scorers with 15 first half points, hitting on 6-of-8 field goals. He finished with 22 points, while Dustin Braddick added 16 and Samuel Ramsey finished with 15.
However, LMU would outscore the Bulldogs 19-9 the final eight minutes and take their first lead when Osborn capitalized on a three-point play with 26 seconds remaining.
The Lions continued on the run they ended the first half with as they took a 51-40 lead with 11:49 remaining when Osborn hit a pair of free throws.
South Carolina State would slowly cut the lead down to three with 8:14 remaining when Ramsey hit one of two free throws to make the lead 57-54. LMU would score the next six points to build the lead back to nine, 63-54 when junior Sherman Gay hit a jumper with 5:53 remaining.
The Bulldogs would not go away, going on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 65-63 with 2:43 remaining when Braddick hit one of two free throws. After Worthy hit two free throws Ramsey made a field goal to get the lead back to two with 1:49 remaining. They would get no closer as LMU would hit on five-of-eight free throws the final 1:15.
Both team struggled from the charity stripe, as LMU finished hitting 65 percent (28-of-43) and SCSU hit just 58 percent (20-of-34). LMU forced a season-high 29 turnovers, earning 10 steals against South Carolina State. LMU forced 53 turnovers in the two-day tournament.
LMU will return to Southern California and travel to San Diego State on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
- The consolation game of the Montana State Tournament was the first ever meeting between LMU and South Carolina State. It was the second meeting of the season in which the Lions faced an opponent for the first time, losing to Villanova in the Great Alaska Shootout 87-71. In Head Coach Steve Aggers three-year tenure, the Lions are 3-3 facing opponents for the first time in school history.
- GO LIONS -