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Loyola Rallies Before Losing in Overtime

January 18, 1987|ALAN DROOZ | Times Staff Writer

Loyola Marymount lost to Gonzaga, 114-101, in overtime before 1,325 fans at Gersten Pavilion Saturday night, missing a chance to move into first place in the West Coast Athletic Conference.

The loss droped the Lions to 9-7 overall and 2-2 in the WCAC. Gonzaga improved to 11-5 and holds a share of the conference lead with San Diego at 3-1.

After trailing for much of the game and losing Mike Yoest to fouls with 12:44 left, the Lions built a 89-83 lead with three minutes left behind Mark Armstrong's 16 second-half points. But they went cold and found themselves in a 89-89 tie and set up for the last shot with 11 seconds left in regulation.

Guard Chris Nikchevich drove the lane and tossed a running one-hander that rimmed the hoop several times, hung and fell out at the buzzer.

It was no contest in overtime as Gonzaga converted 15 of 16 free throws.

The loss, also attributable to Loyola's poor 8-of-16 free throw shooting in the second half, means Loyola wasted a record-setting shooting performance.

The Lions hit 10 three-pointers, tops in the WCAC this season. Nikchevich and freshman Jeff Fryer, who had 18 points apiece, each hit four three-pointers. Armstrong led all scorers with 24 points. Yoest had 17, all in the first half.

Gonzaga placed seven players in double figures led by Jim McPhee's 22 points and Roger Bock's 21. The Bulldogs shot 62% from the field and made 36 of 42 free throws.

Loyola Coach Paul Westhead called Nikchevich's near-miss "the shot heard 'round the WCAC." He added, "Usually when they roll around twice they go in."

Gonzaga had two scoring streaks in the first half to produce a 52-49 lead. The Bulldogs took an early 15-6 lead on the inside play of center Dale Haaland and forward Mike Champion.

Loyola answered with a 24-9 run to take a 30-24 lead as Yoest sprang for 17 first-half points. However, Gonzaga put together a 22-9 run of its own to recapture the lead. Reserve forward Bock and third guard Paul Walker paced the the Bulldogs with 12 and 11 points in the half.

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