Jan. 3, 2008
Provo, UTAH - BYU, who was ranked as high as 20th in the nation, saw themselves in a first half dogfight with Loyola Marymount at the Marriott Center on Thursday night in the first game of 2008 for both teams. However, the Cougars hit nearly half of their field goals from the three-point line to pull away for a 91-62 win to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 39 games.
The Lions, who were the last team to beat BYU in Provo on Nov. 18, 2005, fell down by 10 early but cut the lead to one in the first half. They trailed by just nine at the break, 35-26. However, the Cougars went 12-for-33 from the three-point line (36.4 percent) and scored 26 points off 19 LMU turnovers.
"Tonight we got better for 25 minutes but we could not sustain it," said Head Coach Rodney Tention. "We are still learning. In the first half we competed and took care of the ball. We had only five turnovers in the first half. Thus, we were in the game. In the second half we had 15 and we were out of the game."
LMU was led by the freshman duo of Orlando Johnson and Tim Diederichs. Johnson led the Lions and all scorers with 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting. He added five rebounds and two assists. Diederichs had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting as the Lions finished 37.5 percent from the field (21-for-56).
"We have given a lot of games away early, but we came out and took care of the ball early and were in the game," said Tention. "But the game is 40 minutes. We are not far off from figuring this out. We have potential but we have to sustain it for 40 minutes."
Jonathan Tavernari did most of the damage against the Lions, hitting 5-for-10 from the three-point line to finish with 17 points. Lee Cummard led BYU with 18 points as the Lions held leading scorer Trent Plaisted six points below his average at 12 points and seven assists.
"We have played a really good schedule and this is a good team," said Tention. "They did what they are good at. They rebounded the ball and got into their offense to great good opportunities. Once we started turning the ball over, they capitalized." BYU out-rebounded the Lions 46-34 and had 21 second chance points to LMU's 11.
Sophomore Max Craig earned his first start as the Lions had others come off the bench as a bright spot for the Lions. "Terron Sutton hasn't played much lately but he has practiced well and earned a chance to play. He came off the bench and played well," said Tention. "We had players do some good things off the bench. We need to keep getting better." Sutton along with Jon Ziri led the Lions with six rebounds each.
The Lions fall to 3-12 on the season while BYU improves to 11-3. The Lions will wrap-up non-conference play on Monday, Jan. 7, when they travel to Cal State Bakersfield for a 7 p.m. start. The game will be on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com.