Loyola Marymount University faces one of its toughest road trips as it battles for its first West Coast Athletic Conference basketball title in 25 years.
The Lions, 12-6 overall and 4-0 in the WCAC and riding a six-game winning streak, play at St. Mary's in Moraga tonight then travel to the University of San Diego on Saturday. St. Mary's, 6-4 at home, is 9-8 overall and 2-2 in conference play. San Diego is 13-5 and 3-1, with an 8-0 record at home. Loyola is 4-4 on the road.
The Lions' senior duo of Keith Smith and Forrest Walton-McKenzie continues to do most of the scoring, averaging 24.3 and 19.1, respectively. Sophomore Mark Armstrong is averaging 8.9 rebounds, with McKenzie next at 7.7. Smith leads the conference with a 6.4 assists average.
Loyola is shooting a robust 54% in WCAC play, with Smith shooting 58% in four league games. Smith, McKenzie and sophomore Mike Yoest are all shooting better than 80% from the foul line.
McKenzie will face his brother, freshman forward Aubrey Walton, tonight at St. Mary's. Walton, who moved into the starting lineup nine games ago is averaging 5.6 points with a high game of 14. Junior guard Paul Robertson leads the Gaels in scoring with a 15.5 average. Freshman forward Robert Haugen is averaging 14.2 points and 7.9 rebounds and leads the nation in shooting with .672%. The Gaels are scoring 71 points per game but allowing 73.
San Diego is led by 7-foot junior Scott Thompson, averaging 13.1 points and 7.6 rebounds. The Toreros' hottest player has been forward Mark Bostic, averaging 10 points and shooting 19 of 24 in his last two games. San Diego lost only to Santa Clara, 55-53.
Cal State Dominguez Hills will look to break a four-game losing streak when the basketball team returns home to play Cal Poly Pomona at 8 p.m. Friday and powerful UC Riverside at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Toros are 6-12 overall and 1-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Pomona is 10-8 and 1-4. Riverside is 14-4 and 4-1 and ranked in the top 20. The Toros are 4-6 at home. Toro forward William Alexander leads the CCAA in scoring with a 19.2 average in conference games. The junior moved into third place on the school career scoring list last weekend. In their losing streak the Toros have shot poorly in the first half and have been outscored, 158-118.
The Los Angeles chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame will honor eight South Bay high school players at its annual Scholar-Athlete banquet Feb. 6. Those honored will be John Accardo (3.4 grade-point average of a possible 4) and Kelby Woodward (3.25) from Miraleste, Darryl Griffen from El Segundo (3.66), Chris Moton of Morningside (3.7), John Streetmaker (3.78), Jim Tulette (3.2) and James Yogi (3.3) of North Torrance and Jeff Zumwalt from South Torrance (3.65). Baseball star Steve Garvey will be the featured speaker. Actress Jayne Kennedy will make the award presentations.
The Cal State Dominguez Hills baseball team, expected to be a contender in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., will get an early test when it opens the season Monday with a three-game series at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Arizona is coming off a 47-22 season and is rated No. 3 in a pre-season national ranking. Dominguez Hills is coming off a 34-23 season and returns much of the team that was ranked 14th in Division II after last season.
Bishop Montgomery High has moved up to second place in the latest CIF 4-A boys soccer coaches poll. Simi Valley remains No. 1. Rolling Hills is fourth. Torrance is second in girls 4-A soccer with South Torrance fourth and West Torrance seventh. In boys basketball, Serra remains third in 5-A with St. Bernard back up to sixth. Inglewood is ninth in 4-A, Morningside fourth in 3-A and Chadwick fourth in 1-A. In the girls ratings, Morningside remains seventh in 4-A with Inglewood breaking into the top 10 at ninth. Hawthorne is 10th.