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For Fullerton, Home Isn't Where Heart Is

December 17, 1995|LON EUBANKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Loyola Marymount added to Cal State Fullerton's home-court woes in a 67-63 nonconference victory Saturday night before 1,217 at Titan Gym.

It was the fourth consecutive loss at home for Fullerton (1-4) and 10th in its last 12 games dating to last season.

The Titans, though, had every opportunity to make themselves at home late in the game.

Loyola (6-1) led by only two points at 60-58 when Jim Williamson made a one-handed, off-balance shot in the lane with less than two minutes left.

A Fullerton turnover led to a pair of free throws by Ime Oduok with 46 seconds left and the Titans couldn't come up with the three-point basket they needed.

"I was very happy with the way we played in the last three minutes," Loyola Coach John Olive said. "We played our best basketball. We executed with the clock in mind, and we didn't want to give them any good looks at three-pointers."

Williamson continues to make the big shots for Loyola. It was his desperation half-court shot last season that decided the game between the two teams.

"He's made big baskets his whole career for us, and that's why we put the ball in his hands in that situation," Olive said.

Williamson finished with 14 points. Mike O'Quinn led the Lions with 16. Oduok, who brought a 16.3 scoring average into the game, was held to eight points.

"I thought we put forth a great effort defensively," Fullerton Coach Bob Hawking said. "Our kids really played hard. I thought our effort was good enough to win."

Chuck Overton had 15 points for the Titans, who had no one else in double figures.

Loyola had a 42-34 rebounding advantage and outshot Fullerton from the field 44% to 37%.

The Lions were particularly effective on the boards in the first half, compiling a 21-10 edge. Loyola shot 51% from the field in the first half, while the Titans managed to make 46% of their shots.

Fullerton had a 16-13 lead nine minutes into the game after a rebound basket by John Williams and a three-point basket by Kenroy Jarrett. Loyola bounced back with a series of close-range scores to build a 29-18 lead before Chris St. Clair stopped the surge with a three-point basket.

St. Clair made another three-pointer and Overton added two consecutive baskets, one of them on a steal to bring the Titans within four points.

Loyola led, 37-34, at halftime, however, with O'Quinn scoring 10 points.

The Lions stayed in control early in the second half, building their lead to 10 points on a pair of baskets by Kenny Hotopp, but couldn't pull away.

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