Dec. 30, 2007
Los Angeles, CA -- In a game of runs, Loyola Marymount's early half runs could not match the late half runs by Sam Houston State as the Bearkats earned an 83-66 victory over the Lions in the final non-conference game of the season at Gersten Pavilion Sunday afternoon. The Lions opened the game with a nine-point run and the second half with a 10-point run but turnovers and foul trouble hurt LMU down the stretch.
The Lions opened the game with a 14-5 lead but two fouls by leading scorer Orlando Johnson and fellow freshman starter Tim Diederichs opened the door for Sam Houston State to go on a 32-9 run over a 10-minute span to build a lead as many as 15, 38-23, with 1:31 remaining. The Bearkats would lead 38-26 at the break.
LMU once again came out strong and went on a 14-4 run to start the half and cut the lead to a pair, 42-40, on a jumper by Max Craig with 14:35 remaining. Sam Houston State answered with a 12-3 run to build the lead back to double digits. The Lions could get only as close as eight the rest of the way.
Sam Houston State improves on their best start in their Division I history and improves to 11-1 while the Lions fall to 3-11. Sophomore Shawn Deadwiler led the Lions in scoring with 19 points and a career-best eight rebounds.
As has been the case all season, the Lions were plagued by turnovers and struggles at the free throw line. They committed 25 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Bearkats while shooting just 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) from the charity stripe.
"We work so hard to get a lead and then overcome a deficit only to give it away by not taking care of the ball. We have not figured out the importance of taking care of the ball," said Head Coach Rodney Tention. "We had good energy to start both the first half and the second, but we lacked the toughness to respond when Sam Houston fought back. We just haven't figured it out yet."
Johnson, who entered the game leading the Lions in scoring, played just 13 minutes due to foul trouble that limited him to just three minutes in the first half. He finished with just five points with five assists.The Lions complete non-conference play at home and will travel to No. 20 BYU on Thursday, Jan. 3 to start the 2008 calendar year. The game will be at 6 p.m. on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com.