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USD's Defense Starts at Loyola

January 15, 1988|CHRIS ELLO

SAN DIEGO — The University of San Diego basketball team will begin defense of its West Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship at 7:30 tonight at Loyola Marymount's Albert Gersten Pavilion, where it seems they never really needed to install a 45-second clock.

Loyola, second in the nation in scoring behind Oklahoma, has averaged 118.7 points in six home games this season, all victories. The Lions, who were last a year ago in the conference, are 10-3, the best pre-conference record of any WCAC team.

The reasons for the turnaround are three transfers who traveled crosstown to join Coach Paul Westhead. Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble came from USC, and Corey Gaines from UCLA. They join the conference's leading scorer of a year ago, Mike Yoest, and its leading rebounder, Mark Armstrong.

Gathers is averaging 23.1 points, Gaines 19.2 and Kimble 18.7 off the bench. Yoest is only fourth in scoring this year, at 16.5.

USD (8-5) has only one player, Marty Munn (16.7), who scores more points than Yoest does. And Munn usually comes off the bench.

"Of course we can't get into a scoring battle with them," USD Coach Hank Egan said. "We'll try to play our game and take them somewhat out of theirs."

USD will have to play without starting forward Mike Haupt, who will not make the trip because of a death in his family. Munn probably will start in his place. Starting point guard Efrem Leonard, who injured his ankle Saturday night against Colorado, is questionable, but center Jim Pelton, who twisted an ankle against Weber State Monday night, is expected to play.

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