Loyola Marymount is looking to keep their momentum going from their recent come-from-behind victory over the University of San Francisco as they prepare to take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Thursday, January 29 at 10:30 pm ET.
LMU is coming off of a thrilling performance from last week, as Evan Payne got a last-second tip-in basket to lead the Lions over USF by a final score of 70-69. That edge-of-your-seat performance gave LMU their second win in conference play, putting them in a tie for last place with the Pacific Tigers.
Picking up a win in Moraga is never an easy task, though. The Gaels sit in second place in the WCC, with their only conference loss coming at the hands of the undefeated Zags. The Gaels are showing dominance thanks largely to the play of power forward Brad Waldow, who leads the team in scoring (20.2 PPG) and rebounding (9.9 RPG).
Waldow isn’t doing it alone, though. The Gaels have also gotten some stellar play out guards Kerry Keating and Aaron Bright, the transfer from Stanford. The combined play from these team-leaders have led Saint Mary’s to a 8-1 record in the West Coast Conference.
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Though the McKeon Pavilion is always a tough environment for any opposing team, the Lions should have some energy and confidence after that resilient victory in San Francisco. Evan Payne, after being dropped from the lineup against BYU and losing his starting spot on the team, is starting to regain his superstar status. But what’s more important is that his short absence has allowed other members of the team to step into the spotlight. Guys like Ayodeji Egbeyemi, David Humphries, and especially Marin Mornar, have all stepped up their game in the Lions’ previous few outings.
Many of LMU’s deficiencies throughout the season have involved the team’s lack of support for Evan Payne’s stellar efforts. But it truly looks like that problem is slowly starting to fix itself. The Lions are seeing more consistent contributions from various members of the squad, displaying a hard-fought, wholehearted team effort. If they can continue that unselfish style of play against a team as strong as the Gaels, then the Lions have a chance of flying out of Northern California with two impressive road victories under their belt.