For Loyola Marymount, it was one more chance to set another NCAA scoring record, and it did with a 186-140 victory Saturday over U.S. International.
For USIU, it was a game to make a point, and Kevin Bradshaw made 72 of them, breaking Pete Maravich's NCAA record 69 points against a Division I team.
Bradshaw actually lost a point because of a scoring discrepancy. By the time it was discovered, the official score had already been established with Bradshaw at 72, though almost everyone else keeping score had him with 73.
USIU declared bankruptcy about two weeks ago, and the Gulls know their San Diego-based athletic program is being eliminated after the season. "Tonight you saw a coach do everything he can to point to one positive in a season that's been wiped off the slate," said USIU Coach Gary Zarecky. "You saw one form of medicine tonight."
In improving to 6-8, Loyola broke its own NCAA record of 181 points set two years ago against the same team, also in Gersten Pavilion. Terrell Lowery led the Lions with 34 points and 16 assists. Richard Petruska had 28 points, Chris Knight 27 and freshmen Rahim Harris and Ross Richardson 24 apiece, all career highs. Richardson made eight of 11 three-point attempts, including his first five in the first half, when Loyola threatened to break 100 points before settling for a 94-70 lead. The 94 points were three short of the record for a half, set by Oklahoma last season, also against USIU.
The Gulls lost their 12th in a row and fell to 1-16, but from early on, Zarecky was pointing to the individual record. Bradshaw, a 6-foot-5 guard who scored 54 points against Loyola last season, made 23 of 59 shots, 19 of 23 free throws and played all 40 minutes. He raised his season average to 33.9.
"Some people may say this is a garbage game, but it's not," Zarecky said. "Anybody get up and leave? When we play, nobody leaves."
The game got off to a flying start, with Lowery hitting a three-point shot. Three minutes into game, Loyola led, 14-12, with Bradshaw having scored all 12.
The Lions had 50 points with 11:20 to play in the half and 75 at the 5:46 mark. They were on target to break 100 by the half before they hit their only dry spell with 3:45 left, when they held an 85-58 lead.
They could manage only five points in the next 2 1/2 minutes, then scored two more baskets in the closing seconds for the 94-70 score. Bradshaw had 37 points at the half.
Both records came in the final two minutes. With 1:27 to play, Bradshaw made two free throws for his 70th point. He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 1,092.
Said Bradshaw: "The last eight minutes the coaches told me what the situation was. That's when I started shooting for it."
Meanwhile, Harris sandwiched two baskets around a free throws by Greg Walker to make the score 182-138 with 1:01 left.
After a final basket by Bradshaw, Walker scored on a drive and Marcus Slater added two free throws for the final score.
"That looked like (a scrimmage in) Gersten Pavilion in October," Loyola Coach Jay Hillock said. "I wish more teams would play us that way because that's what we're used to. I'd like to congratulate Bradshaw. He's a terrific player, and I'm glad we were able to accommodate him."
Said Zarecky: "How do you think we felt when Kevin got that standing ovation? That was for the kids, as far as I'm concerned. Six years ago you never heard of us. Now we'll be the school Kevin Bradshaw went to."