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WCC Men's Basketball Recaps

Nov. 17, 2006

LMU - 71
New Mexico State - 69

Los Angeles, CA - Loyola Marymount senior Brandon Worthy hit an off-balanced three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift the Lions to a 71-69 come-from-behind win over New Mexico State in front of 3,570 at Gersten Pavilion Friday night. Worthy led the Lions with 28 points as the Lions erased a 17-point second half deficit for the win.

The performance by Worthy could be summed up like this - after putting up a career-high 28 points with eighth rebounds, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes while both calves where cramping - a young boy clad in New Mexico State gear asked the fifth-year senior for an autograph telling him he had a new fan.

"Brandon is flat-out a warrior who wants nothing else but wins. He wants the ball at the end of the game and his teammates know to get it to him," said Head Coach Rodney Tention.

New Mexico State had one more shot at the win but Worthy blocked Justin Hawkins three-pointer at the buzzer. A fitting close to the game Worthy played.

The Lions improve to 2-1 on the season while New Mexico State falls to 1-1 following a physical contest that looked to be a runaway for the Aggies. The teams were called for 55 fouls as Tention was called for his second technical and ejected from the game with 8:17 left. New Mexico State built a 15-lead at the break and went up 17 15:54 remaining as the Lions struggled to get anything going.

However, down 60-45 after an Elijah Ingram three-pointer with 11:17 remaining, the Lions put the clamps on the Aggies' offense, and LMU took over. The Lions cut the lead to 10, 63-53 with 8:47 remaining when Worthy hit a free throw. Worthy finished 11-for-16 from the line. Less than 30 seconds later Tention was called for his second technical and it seemed to only put the Lions into another gear.

Ingram hit one of the two technical free throws to go up 64-53. The Lions then rattled off a 15-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 68-64 lead, their first since leading 9-7 in the first half. Senior Derick Grubb started the run with a dunk, followed by a lay-in by senior Matthew Knight with 6:51 remaining.

At this point both Grubb and Knight were playing with four fouls. Knight, Worthy and Grubb then each added a free throw to make it 64-60 Aggies with 5:11 remaining. Worthy hit a jumper to put LMU within two. Grubb then hit a 10-foot jumper and then a three-pointer with 3:18 remaining to give LMU the lead. Worthy added a free thrown to close the run.

The Aggies would get their first field goal, a dunk by David Fisher, in over 11 minutes to retake the lead at 69-68 with 14 seconds remaining to set-up the final series for Worthy.

"What an overall team effort," said Tention. "We wanted to come out and compete until the end. We didn't play to our capability in our last game (against Mississippi State) and knew we were a better team. In the second half our guys really got after it. This was a good win against a quality opponent."

Knight finished the game with 13 points, all coming in the final 15 minutes of the game. Grubb added 14 while freshman Max Craig added eight points off the bench. The Lions finished the game shooting 46 percent, hitting 58.3 percent in the second half. LMU forced NMSU into 26 turnovers on seven steals while holding them to just 28 percent shooting in the second half and 38 percent for the game.

"Our defense has to be consistent for us to be competitive. We did a great job in holding a good shooting team to 38 percent shooting," said Tention.

The Lions will have a night to rest before hosting Cal State Bakersfield at Gersten Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.

Portland - 59
Montana State - 53

PORTLAND, Ore. - Junior Sherrard Watson scored a career-high 20 points, while senior Ben Sullivan added 12 points and 14 rebounds as the Portland Pilots beat the Montana State Bobcats 59-53 Friday night at the Chiles Center.

Playing just eight players after having his roster depleted by injuries, head coach Eric Reveno earned the first win of his career, but not before a nail-biting finish in front of 1,926 fans.

Portland (1-3) gained its largest lead of the game at 45-34 on a layup by Watson with 10:40 to play, but Montana State (0-3) clawed back as junior guard Carlos Taylor drilled five consecutive three-pointers to spark an 18-6 run and give the Bobcats a 52-51 lead with 2:51 remaining. Taylor, who scored 16 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, was called for his fifth foul at the 5:00 mark and was disqualified. Watson drew the charge as Taylor penetrated to the hoop in transition.

Watson then converted a layup to regain the lead at 53-52 and Sullivan iced the game with four clutch free throws in the final minute.

The Pilots held the Bobcats without a field goal for the final 5:59 of regulation and forced MSU into 33.3 percent shooting on the night.

"I was pleased with our response to their run in the second half," Reveno said. "They battled back and regained the lead, but we hung in there and did enough to win at the end."

Portland gained a 36-34 edge in rebounding, but allowed 18 offensive rebounds to the Bobcats, something Reveno described as "unacceptable."

"Fatigue was probably a factor," he added.

The Pilots shot 42 percent from the field and made 10 of 11 free throw attempts. Portland committed 15 turnovers and forced MSU into 13.

Watson, whose previous career-high was six points, shot 9-for-14 from the field and grabbed five rebounds.

"He's been having practices where he does that," Reveno said, referring to Watson's offensive production. "Last weekend he didn't play particularly well, but it wasn't a huge surprise with how well he shot the ball today."

Sullivan's 14 rebounds also established a career-high and it marked the second double-double of his career. He filled out the rest of the box score with four assists, two blocked shots and two steals in 36 minutes.

Taylor finished 6-for-7 from the three point line and did his damage in just 16 minutes of action. Senior Ted Morris added nine points and 11 boards for the Bobcats.

Portland was missing senior guard Darren Cooper (hamstring) for the second game in a row and does not expect to have him available on Sunday. Freshman guard Taishi Ito (family illness) and senior forward Chris Jackson (ill) were also unavailable.

Portland will next host the UC Davis Aggies (0-3) at the Chiles Center on Sunday at 2 p.m. before embarking on a three-game road trip starting at Brigham Young on Wednesday.

Fresno State - 86
San Francisco - 66

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Dominic McGuire had 21 points and five rebounds and Fresno State remained unbeaten with an 86-66 victory over San Francisco on Friday night.

Quinton Hosley added 19 points and six boards and Eddie Miller 11 points as the Bulldogs (4-0) shot well early.

Fresno State made 8 of its first 12 3-pointers and 12 in all - three each by McGuire, Hosley and Miller - and used a pair of 16-1 first-half runs while holding USF without a field goal for nearly 8 1/2 minutes on the way to a 49-26 halftime lead.

Manny Quezada had 20 points and five assists, Armondo Surratt 16 and Alan Wiggins 13 points and 10 rebounds for USF, which shot 33 percent and committed 18 turnovers.

The Bulldogs, picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference, have won five of the last five meetings in the series. This was their first road game after going 3-0 in its own tournament last weekend.

McGuire, who sat out last season after playing two years at California, scored eight straight points with two 3-pointers to help the Bulldogs start the game 6-for-7 during a 16-1 spurt that led to a quick 20-8 edge. He was only 5-for-33 in his college career on 3s before making his first two tries Friday.

San Francisco (2-1) began the game 8-for-23 with seven turnovers, falling into a half-court game it prefers not to play. The Dons, with their backcourt featuring three Big East transfers in Quezada, Surratt and Antonio Kellogg, will face off against No. 5 Ohio State on Monday night in Columbus.

Kellogg shot 3-for-16 and Wiggins 5-of-18.

The Dons, who hope to give Gonzaga a run in the talented West Coast Conference this season, won their first two games by a combined 39 points.

USF pulled within 27-21 midway through the first half before Fresno State's second 16-1 spurt and never got closer than 14 points after halftime.