It was a successful beginning to a new era for Mike Dunlap and the Loyola Marymount Lions. LMU defeated Southeast Missouri State by a final score of 76-66 in their first game of the season.
Evan Payne led the Lions in scoring with 23 points, going 9-14 on the floor in a matter of only 23 minutes off the bench. Sophomore guard Matt Hayes also contributed 13 points in 26 minutes of play. Starting guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi notched a solid 13 points while Marin Mornar added 10 points.
Though there were 12 ties and eight lead changes throughout the game, the Lions solidified their victory with an incredible performance from their supporting cast. Loyola Marymount outscored SE Missouri State 43-6 in players coming off the bench, making them the undoubted X factor in this matchup.
The Lions also held a significant advantage on the boards, as they retained a 41-28 edge in rebounding. JUCO transfer David Humphries led the team with eight rebounds, while Patson Siame and Egbeyemi tallied seven each.
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The Redhawks didn’t go down without a fight, though. Nino Johnson led his team with 22 points and managed to cut LMU’s lead down to a one-possession game numerous times.
However, it was a 2-for-14 dry spell in the second half and a 9-0 run by the Lions that sealed the Redhawks’ fate.
Coach Dunlap said he was pleased with his team’s resilient effort and will look to continue this success tosay when LMU will take on the Boise State Broncos in the final game of the LMU Classic in Los Angeles.
The Broncos are 1-0 after defeating San Diego yesterday. They also get back star guard Derrick Marks who missed the opener due to suspension. Marks was the second leading scorer for the Broncos last season.