My apologies for the delay on this game’s recap. Things have been busy during the holidays!
The Loyola Marymount Lions brought some cheer to their holiday season by ending their six-game losing streak after they took down the DePaul Blue Demons in the seventh place game of the Diamond Head Classic by a final score of 72-69.
Once again, Evan Payne took control of the reigns for LMU, leading the team in scoring with a resounding 24 points. Ayodeji Egbeyemi contributed 20 points for the Lions, shooting 50% from the floor and going 8-9 at the free throw line, while Godwin Okonji knocked down 13 points and added five boards.
Dec 22, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Loyola Marymount forward Patson Siame (14) takes a shot over Wichita State center Bush Wamukota (21) during the second half of the NCAA college basketball game at the Stan Sheriff Center. Mandatory Credit: Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports
The key for the Lions in this victory was the strong offensive contributions from multiple players on the team. As I stated in previous articles, one of the main problems LMU has had this season has been the lack of offensive production from anyone not named Evan Payne. Far too often, his numbers would fill up the stat sheet while other players would continuously fall short in virtually every aspect of the game. Now, with Payne, Egbeyemi, Okonji, and even Marin Mornar, who had seven points and seven rebounds, all making solid additions to the team’s efforts, we’re starting to see an entirely new Lions team.
Guard Billy Garrett Jr. led DePaul with 16 points, while Tommy Hamilton IV added 12 points and eight rebounds.
While this game ended the Lions’ distressing losing streak, it added onto the Blue Demons’ losing skid, making this their sixth loss in a row. They begin Big East conference play next against the Marquette Golden Eagles.
With the Diamond Head Classic now completed, the Lions begin conference play when they host the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday, December 27. The Waves have held up well so far this season, with a 7-3 record, landing them in fourth place in the West Coast Conference.