Loyola Marymount Travels South to Take on San Diego


Loyola Marymount is on the hunt for their first conference win of the season. They’re taking the trip down to San Diego to battle the Toreros in Jenny Craig Pavilion on Thursday, January 8 at 11:00 pm ET.

USD, despite their 1-3 record in WCC play, boasts a strong roster and is going to provide a tough test for the Lions.

Nov 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions guard Evan Payne (1) attempts a shot defended by Boise State Broncos guard Robert Heyer (22) during the second half at Albert Gersten Pavilion. The Boise State Broncos defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions 77-69. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Dee, who is now the leading scorer in USD history, is averaging a scorching 18.1 points per game, shooting .459 in field goal percentage. Chris Anderson is also averaging 8.9 PPG to go along with a team-leading 6.6 assists. This is a great scoring tandem, and combined with former Gonzaga guard Chris Sarbaugh, they make a very formidable backcourt that will give any WCC team a challenge.

And don’t be deceived by their 1-3 conference record. Two of those three losses were decided by only three points (against Portland and Santa Clara). Their only other conference loss came at the hands of the Zags, who are currently ranked #6 in the country. Their lone victory was against San Francisco, in what was one of the closest games of the WCC this season.

With a backcourt comprised of guys like Dee and Anderson, it’s going to be tough for Loyola Marymount to pick up their first conference win this season.

The Lions are in rebuilding mode under new head coach Mike Dunlap, struggling to keep up with the rest of the West Coast Conference. Fortunately for Dunlap, though, LMU has a star guard in Evan Payne, who is currently averaging 20.5 points. He’s consistently the team’s leading scorer and often their lone bright spot.

More from West Coast Convo

The biggest problem for the Lions so far is the team’s failure to match Payne’s success on the floor. A few times this season, Evan has been the only one to score in double figures for the Lions. LMU is going to need greater outputs from other players if they’re going to have any chance at taking down their WCC foes.

Though USD will most likely have an advantage being on their home court, expect a high-octane, entertaining guard battle between two of the WCC’s most elite guards in Johnny Dee and Evan Payne.