Loyola Mary 55

(4-16, 1-3 WCC)

Saint Mary's 87

(16-2, 3-0 WCC)

    10:05 PM ET, January 21, 2008

    McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, California

    1 2 T
    LMU 26 2955
    SMC 40 4787

    Top Performers

    Loyola Marymount: Q. Turner 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Saint Mary's: D. Simpson 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

    Simpson key as Saint Mary's trounces Loyola Marymount

    MORAGA, Calif. (AP) -- Omar Samhan's teammates are all in favor of him keeping his new buzz cut.

    Debuting a much shorter 'do, Samhan finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Saint Mary's (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today) remained unbeaten in West Coast Conference play with an 87-55 victory over Loyola Marymount on Monday night.

    The 6-foot-11 center hit his first eight field-goal tries and finished 8-for-9 in his first game without the traditional faux-hawk he had all season.

    "Definitely keep the buzz cut as long as he keeps playing like that," guard Todd Golden said.

    Added coach Randy Bennett: "It might have been his haircut. He was too worried about his faux-hawk."

    Gaels starters Samhan, Diamon Simpson and Golden combined to make their first 16 shots and Saint Mary's shot 55 percent. Simpson had 21 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

    Simpson was 7-for-8 after making his initial six shots and Golden went 3-of-3 with eight points and four boards for the Gaels (16-2, 3-0 WCC), who won their fourth straight since losing at then-No. 14 Texas on Jan. 5.

    "That's a great recipe. We just played well as a team tonight," Simpson said. "We had a lot of assists."

    Saint Mary's would like to get back in the AP Top 25 after sitting at 26th this week. Standout freshman Patty Mills added 11 points, six steals and five assists in only 23 minutes, hitting two 3-pointers and getting a steal and transition basket during a 17-2 run to start the second half.

    "That's one of our strengths as a team to keep the pressure on," Mills said.

    Quentin Turner scored 14 points for the cold-shooting Lions (4-16, 1-3), who struggled to get open looks against the Gaels' pressure man-to-man defense and were outrebounded 42-27 by Saint Mary's. Freshman Orlando Johnson scored nine of his 11 points in the first half of Loyola Marymount's fifth straight road defeat.

    The Gaels won their third straight against LMU -- and sixth of eight meetings overall in the series after sweeping the Lions last season -- despite going 14-for-28 from the free-throw line in this one. Saint Mary's shot 57 percent in the opening 20 minutes and had six blocks, two apiece by Samhan and Simpson, on the way to a 40-26 halftime lead.

    Simpson scored the first four points after the break and Samhan had the next basket before a 3 by Mills made it 49-26 with 17:45 remaining.

    Loyola Marymount has lost nine of 10 and 12 of 14. The Lions were coming off a loss at Santa Clara on Saturday in which they were held to a season-low 35 points -- the school's lowest total since 1949-50.

    Saint Mary's made five of its first eight shots on the way to an 11-2 lead and never looked back. LMU committed six turnovers in the opening nine minutes and finished with 19.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 55 87
    FG Made-Attempted 20-55 (.364) 32-58 (.552)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-17 (.471) 9-22 (.409)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-11 (.636) 14-28 (.500)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 40

    2007-08 Season

    » Jan 21, 2008 @SMC 87, LMU 55Recap
    Feb 16, 2008 SMC 80, @LMU 49Recap