Lions Put an End to San Diego’s Win Streak


Jan 10, 2015; Provo, UT, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions forward Patson Siame (14) looks to pass the ball past Brigham Young Cougars guard Chase Fischer (1) during the first half at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Well how do you like that?

The Loyola Marymount Lions snapped San Diego’s three-game win streak on Thursday night, defeating the Toreros by a final score of 70-61.

San Diego was on a roll as of late in the West Coast Conference. They flexed their muscles by taking down BYU last week and followed that victory with consecutive wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco. Prior to this game, it seemed as if USD would continue steamrolling through their conference competition.

LMU thought otherwise. The Lions led 38-28 at halftime and were putting a serious halt to San Diego’s productivity. That’s not to say that the Toreros didn’t fight back, though. With 1:29 left to play, USD guard Chris Sarbaugh hit a three pointer to pull San Diego within two. They made a ferocious comeback after trailing by double digits, but ended the final minute of the game with a turnover and five straight misses. Johnny Dee continued to impress by scoring a game-high 29 points.

Loyola Marymount did a superb job of answering the Toreros’ comeback hopes. Marin Mornar answered Sarbaugh’s three pointer with a trey of his own, eventually sealing the deal for the Lions.

However, as opposed to LMU’s previous conference wins, this game did not display an effort in which every player made significant contributions. The distribution of points was extremely uneven across the board. But, in this case, a good kind of uneven.

A vast majority of the Lions’ offensive production came from their two most recent stars: Evan Payne (who’s been their standout guy since day one) scored 19 points on 7-15 shooting.

The real MVP of this matchup, though, was LMU forward Marin Mornar, who has been stellar for the Lions as of late. Mornar was just one rebound shy of posting another double-double. The junior from Croatia notched 27 points in the victory, shooting a prodigious 8-10 from the floor and 11-12 from the free throw line. Combine that with nine rebounds and some relentless defense and you’ve got yourself one heck of a stat line.

The Lions resembled a confident, charismatic squad. Though it wasn’t the most balanced scoring effort, they still played some impressive basketball and worked well together as a team. They knew Payne and Mornar were feeling it from the floor and did a great job of getting them the ball and helping to create open looks.

Loyola Marymount’s got to be feeling pretty confident right now, and will look to ride that momentum when they host the BYU Cougars on Saturday at 1:00 pm PT. San Diego will be working to bounce back when they take a visit to Pepperdine on Saturday at 5:00 pm PT.

Jan 10, 2015; Provo, UT, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions forward Marin Mornar (42) runs up back to play defense after making a three point basket against the Brigham Young Cougars during the second half at Marriott Center. Brigham Young Cougars won 85-72. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports