Loyola Marymount Hangs Tough in 67-58 Loss to Stanford


The Lions fell in a heartbreaker on Wednesday night against the Stanford Cardinal, as they lost by a final score of 67-58. But that score does not do it justice; the Lions put their full potential on display against their third Pac-12 opponent of the season, giving the Cardinal a serious run for their money.

Loyola Marymount was absolutely stellar during the first half of the game. They shot 50% from the floor, played relentless defense, and pressured the Cardinal into a number of forced jump shots and missed layups. This pressure defense stifled Stanford’s offensive production, and LMU took advantage of their opponent’s sloppy play.

Nov 25, 2014; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) drives to the basket while defended by Delaware Fightin Blue Hens guard Anthony Mosley (3) during the second half at Maples Pavilion. Stanford won 84-47. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Lions were undersized compared to Stanford’s big men, they managed to pull down more rebounds and score a hefty amount of second chance points in the first half. Stanford’s lack of rim protection played a big part in LMU’s success.

Although Stanford ended the first half on an 8-0 run, shortening the gap to a 31-27 lead for LMU, the Lions led the Cardinal throughout the first 20 minutes of the game.

The second half began as a constant battle between the two, as there were numerous lead changes and both teams came out firing. It wasn’t until about six minutes into the half that Stanford began to regain its confidence and build up some momentum. Senior guard Chasson Randle was the undoubted leader of his team for this matchup, contributing 31 points to his team’s effort. He went 9-for-19 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe. Coming into this game, Randle had not missed a free throw throughout the 2014-15 season.

As Randle began to take charge, the Lions’ offensive firepower began to drop significantly. Stanford switched to playing man-on-man defense, which immediately began to limit LMU’s production. Stanford profited heavily as they began to control the tempo of the game, limiting Loyola Marymount to 27 points in the second half, compared to their 40. It was an excellent come-from-behind victory for the Cardinal, as LMU remains winless against the Pac-12 so far this season.

However, the domination that the Lions exhibited in the first half showed us what this team is truly capable of. It’s one of the few times this season that everything seemed to be clicking for Loyola Marymount. They did a great job of exposing Stanford’s weaknesses and using them to their advantage.

What I loved most from this matchup, though, is the amount that each player contributed. All five of LMU’s starters scored at least seven points, making for a balanced attack from the starting lineup. Matt Hayes and David Humphries were also solid contributors coming off the bench. This is something that the Lions have struggled with all season – far too often, we’ve seen games where Evan Payne knocks down 20+ points while his teammates fail to support his great effort.

More from West Coast Convo

This was not the case against Stanford. It was relieving and hopeful to see so many contributions from the entire team. For the first time in a while, the Lions looked confident in their abilities and worked together well to give the Cardinal some serious trouble. Although this is their fourth loss in a row, the Lions looked good – let’s hope this showcase of confidence can continue as the Lions prepare to take on their toughest opponent yet: the #11 Wichita State Shockers, on Saturday, December 22.