Loyola Marymount Storms Back Against Pacific


It’s games like this that make college basketball so fun and entertaining. It’s games like this that remind us that no lead should be considered “safe,” because anything is possible. And it’s games like this that give us a glimpse of what’s yet to come for a team like Loyola Marymount, who has proved that they have the determination to keep fighting, even when things seem bleak.

Jan 17, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions guard Chase Flint (23) reacts during the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Albert Gersten Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions rallied from a hefty deficit late in their game against the Pacific Tigers to pick up their third West Coast Conference victory in overtime.

Guards T.J. Wallace and Alec Kobre kept the Tigers ahead for a majority of the matchup, scoring 18 and 17 points respectively. Pacific was getting stops on the defensive end and taking advantage of it when the rock was in their hands. The Tigers led by seven points at halftime and continued that momentum well into the second half.

But the Lions weren’t phased. They fought their way back in the final minutes of regulation, led by forward Marin Mornar, who made a three pointer, jump shot, and tip-in to cut the Tigers’ lead to two. With 47 seconds left before the buzzer sounded, Evan Payne dashed down the court like a freight train to score the game-tying layup.

We’ve got some free basketball going down in Stockton.

LMU was pumped and energized after that vicious comeback, and continued that momentum into overtime, opening things up with a 7-3 run. T.J. Wallace kept it close, nailing a three pointer with nine seconds to go and cutting it to a one-possession game, but the Lions were able to hang on for the 76-71 OT victory.

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It was another impressive scoring night for Loyola Marymount – four players scored in double figures, with Marin Mornar securing another double-double, scoring 23 points to go with 11 rebounds. Evan Payne seemed to have regained his confidence as well, as he also notched 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

David Humphries scored 14 points while forward Godwin Okonji notched 11. It was a resounding team effort by Loyola Marymount and it proved that this team has the heart and determination to fight back from any deficit. To see a team that’s in rebuilding mode display such a powerful performance is truly a reminder that LMU is heading in the right direction under Mike Dunlap.

The Lions will look to pick up their fourth WCC victory when they host San Diego on Thursday, while Pacific will travel to Moraga on Saturday to take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels.