Loyola Marymount has already played four Big West Conference teams, winning the first three and then losing to Big West bottom feeder Long Beach State. The three wins have been at home while the last was on the road. LMU opened the season against UC Riverside winning 59-53 and then played Northridge four days later and beat them by 11, 81-70. On December 3rd, the Lions then beat a Cal Poly SLO team, who has now defeated two Pac-10 teams, by the score of 68-67.
Stopping Sherman Gay, a 6-7 scrawny kid with good post moves, will be priority number one for the Titans. According to his coach he is an "explosive front line player with inside-outside abilities" though he has yet to take a three point shot this year. He is hitting 53% of his shots and is second on the team in rebounding at 6.0 per game.
No. 1 on the rebounding list is 6-10 center Chris Ayer who did not play in the game against Long Beach State because of the flu. He will be ready when the Titans and Lions take the floor.
The three-point threats, if you can call them that, are Keith Kincade (35%), Charles Brown (28%) and Wes Wardrop (19%). Expect the Titans to play a 2-3 zone for much of the game or at least until the Lions prove they can hit from the outside.
TitanCentral.com Spin: If the game against Long Beach State is any indication of how good LMU is, then this will be a blowout in the Titans favor. Both teams looked absolutely awful. Loyola was coming off a tough loss at home to a big-time program in Virginia so that may have been part of the problem in addition to losing their only real inside presence in Ayer. Excuses or not, they simply did not look good, especially their outside shooting as they hit only 3 of 16 from behind the arc.
Gay was their only player who looked decent and coach Steve Aggers had him on the bench for much of the first half for some unknown reason so, so it doesn't look like Aggers will be winning any battle of wits with Titans head coach Bob Burton.
Pape Sow should dominate inside and the 2-3 zone, which is what the 49ers played most of the game, should prove effective enough to stop the Lions. This is a game the Titans should win based on talent but if LMU's three-point shooting suddenly picks up and the Titans don't win the battle on the boards, anything can happen.
Game 9: Loyola Marymount
Tuesday, December 30, 2003 @ Titan Gym
|Cal State Fullerton (4-4, 0-0)||256||205||172|
|Loyola Marymount (6-4, 0-0)||68||127||129|
|The Line: Lions by 2|
Here are the projected starting lineups:
|Pos||Cal State Fullerton||Loyola Marymount|
|PG||Bobby Brown||6-1, 170||Martin, Damian||6-1, 180|
|SG||Derick Andrew||6-2, 180||Wardrop, Wes||6-3, 185|
|SF||Anthony Bolton||6-7, 190||Kincade, Keith||6-6, 210|
|PF||Hardy Asprilla||6-5, 225||Gay, Sherman||6-7, 195|
|C||Pape Sow||6-10, 250||Ayer, Chris||6-10, 242|
First off the Bench
|Zakee Smith||6-0, 175||Brown, Charles, G||5-11, 170|
|Yaphett King||6-4, 235||Dickens, Jason, F||6-8, 230|
|Babacar Camara||6-10, 250||Haywood, John, F||6-6, 210|
|David Warsaw||6-4, 200||Brown, Dustin, F||6-7, 225|
|Brian Pruitt||6-6, 225|
|Cal State Fullerton||Loyola Marymount|
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THE QUICK SCENARIO: The Titans (4-4) need a win over LMU to post their first non-conference winning season since the 1998-99 squad went 6-4. Fullerton is at the .500 level for the first time since 1999-2000, when the team was 5-5 and later 8-8 before finishing 8-19. Fullerton will play its fourth and fifth consecutive home games to open the Big West Conference schedule against Cal State Northridge and Pacific.
ABOUT THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount is 6-3 going into a Dec. 23 at Long Beach State. Since opening 5-0, LMU has lost at home to UNLV, lost in OT at UCLA, won in OT at Denver and lost by 6 points at home to Virginia. Sherman Gay, who set a career blocked shots record with No. 100 vs. Virginia, leads the team in scoring at 16.4 ppg and is the No. 2 rebounder at 6.0. Other double figures scorers are Keith Kincade (10.9 ppg) and Charles Brown (10.2 ppg). The leader on the boards is Chris Ayer at 6.7. As a team, LMU shoots only 27 percent from 3-point range but holds its opponents to the same percentage.