San Diego 79 - LMU 74
Los Angeles, CA (Jan. 15) - Loyola Marymount University fell in another down-to-the-wire affair, this one coming to the University of San Diego, 79-74, on Monday night at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions trailed by as many as 16 in the second half but cut USD's lead to three twice in the final five minutes but could not finish the comeback.
Senior Adoyah Miller led the Lions with 23 points, scoring 21 in the second half and hitting 6-for-13 from the three-point line. Junior Damian Martin set a career high for the second straight night with 18 points. Ross DeRogatis led all scorers with 25 points, including 6-for-10 from beyond the arc.
Martin had a monster weekend, averaging 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 steals. He came into the weekend at 4.5 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, 0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game.
LMU can't by a break as a slow start once again put them in a hole they couldn't recover from, dropping their seventh straight to fall to 8-12 on the season and 0-4 in the WCC. USD improves to 12-6 overall and 2-1 in the WCC.
"You can't come out slow to start the game and expect to come back every time," said Head Coach Rodney Tention. "They wanted it more at the start. We did well to come back but as we get in position to take over we mentally let down. We have to play 40 full minutes."
The Lions fell down by as many as 16 with 14:05 to play in the second. However, their defense once again got them back in it. LMU held USD without a field goal for over seven minutes (from 13:29 to 6:33).
In the USD drought, the Lions managed to cut the lead to four thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Miller, making it 62-58 with 6:50 remaining.
Pomare ended the Toreros' slump at 6:33 with a jump hook in the paint, making it 64-58.
Miller's fifth three of the game made the score 64-61 with 5:10 remaining. USD would separate once again, capped by DeRogatis' sixth three to make it 73-64 with a little more than four minutes remaining.
LMU wasn't through as Grubb made it 75-69 on yet another offensive rebound
putback with 1:45 on the clock. The Lions finished with 41 rebounds, 22 on the offensive end. USD had 31 rebounds and just eight offensive boards.
Grubb then hit a three-pointer after a USD turnover to put the lead back to
three, 75-72 with 59 seconds to play. The Lions played perfect defense and
forced Johnson to try a long three pointer. However, the Lions didn't get the
offensive board and had to foul Johnson who hit both free throws to make it a
five-point affair, 77-72, to ice it.
"We are not a good team at getting loose balls," said Tention. "It comes down to desire and heart. We just didn't have the heart to get the loose ball."
The torrid shooting pace for the Toreros was set early and often. Pomare and
DeRogatis hit their first 11 shots combined, including four three-pointer by
DeRogatis as USD hit 70 percent in the first half to take a 42-28 lead. They
shot just 40 percent in the second half to finish at 56 percent. LMU hit 39.1
Turnovers hurt the Lions as it has throughout the last seven setbacks. USD
scored 16 points off 10 turnovers for the 14-point edge at the break and
finished scoring 22 points on 16 LMU turnovers.