Loyola Marymount University, having won 16 games for the first time since 1968, plays its most important on-campus basketball game since 1980 when Pepperdine visits Gersten Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Loyola, 16-6 overall, is 8-0 in the West Coast Athletic Conference, one game ahead of Pepperdine (7-1 in WCAC, 19-4 overall). The Lions are riding a 10-game winning streak. Loyola features the nation's highest-scoring back court in Keith Smith (23-point average) and Forrest Walton-McKenzie (19.9). The Lions also have the WCAC's leading rebounder in Mark Armstrong at 8.5 per game. McKenzie is third at 7.7. Smith leads in assists at 6.5 per game and McKenzie is the top free thrower at 89.2%.
Pepperdine has its own star guard in Dwayne Polee, last year's WCAC player of the year. Polee and forward Eric White both average 15 points. Polee leads the conference in steals. Polee hit the game-winning basket in a 61-60 victory over San Diego last week to make this a showdown for first place.
The Cal State Dominguez Hills basketball team plays the role of spoiler and will try to break a three-game losing streak when it plays its last home double-header this weekend, playing Cal State Bakersfield on Friday and league-leading Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday, both at 7:30 p.m. The Toros are 7-15 overall and 2-7 in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Bakersfield, winner of six of its last seven, is 15-7 and 6-3, in fourth place two games behind San Luis Obispo (18-4, 8-1).