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Loyola Gains Momentum With 2nd Straight Victory : College basketball: Lions stop Portland, 91-79, and move within one game of third place in conference play.

February 06, 1994|ROB FERNAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Loyola Marymount continued to earn newfound respect in the West Coast Conference by beating Portland, 91-79, Saturday night at Gersten Pavilion.

It was the third victory in four games for the Lions (4-15, 3-5), who moved within a game of third place in the WCC after starting the weekend tied for last. It gave Loyola back-to-back conference victories for the first time since the 1991-92 season, having upset first-place Gonzaga on Friday.

"I don't know if it sends a message to the rest of the conference," Coach John Olive said, "but it shows us that we're capable of playing with and beating anyone."

All five Loyola starters scored in double figures for the first time this season, led by sophomore center Ime Odouk with 19 points, 10 rebounds and a Gersten Pavilion-record five blocked shots. Guard Robin Kirksey added 18 points and forward Wyking Jones had 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Lions led by as many as 15 points in the first half before Portland (11-12, 4-4) rallied and pulled within 69-64 on Ronnie Fines' three-pointer with 9:25 to play. Loyola responded with a 12-2 run capped by Rahim Harris' breakaway dunk to take an 81-66 lead with three minutes left.

Portland, losing its ninth consecutive game at Gersten Pavilion, got 21 points from forward Canaan Chatman, who missed all nine of his second-half shots after scoring 18 in the first half.

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