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Titans' Woes Just Get Worse : Basketball: Loyola Marymount hangs on to hand Fullerton its fourth consecutive loss at home, 67-63.

December 17, 1995|LON EUBANKS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FULLERTON — Loyola Marymount, on its first venture out of Gersten Pavilion this season, found Titan Gym to be a hospitable place.

Loyola Marymount added to Cal State Fullerton's home-court misery, defeating the Titans, 67-63, in a nonconference men's basketball game in front of 1,217. It was Fullerton's fourth consecutive loss at home, seventh in its last eight games and 10th in its last 12, dating to last season. The Titans fell to 1-4 for the year.

Loyola Marymount, on the other hand, improved to 6-1. The Lions have won five of six at home.

Loyola Marymount led by two points, 60-58, until Jim Williamson hit a one-handed, off-balance shot going down the lane with about two minutes left. A Fullerton turnover set up two free throws by Ime Oduok with 46 seconds left, and that was all Loyola Marymount needed to hold on.

"I was very happy with the way we played in the last three minutes," Loyola Marymount 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."

Olive and Fullerton Coach Bob Hawking considered Williamson's basket as a key play.

"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.

It was Williamson's desperation half-court shot last season that decided the game between the teams, and Hawking has hardly forgotten that shot.

"He's been getting it done for them all three years he's been in that program," Hawking said.

Williamson finished with 14 points. Mike O'Quinn led the Lions with 16 and Kenny Hotopp had 13. Fullerton held Oduok to eight points.

"I thought we put forth a great effort defensively," Hawking said. "We did a good job on Williamson for the most part, as well as the big guy [Oduok] inside. They were the two we wanted to key on. Our kids played hard. I thought our effort was good enough to win. We just made some mistakes down the stretch that young teams make, but you can't fault the effort."

Senior Chuck Overton, who had 15 points, was only Titan in double figures. John Williams, who has scored 23 and 25 points in the last two games, made only three of 12 shots for six points.

"He was playing against bigger guys and very athletic guys, and it's easy to get frustrated when shots you normally hit aren't going in," Hawking said. Loyola had a 42-34 rebounding advantage and made 16 of 24 free throws compared to 12 of 17 for Fullerton. Loyola shot 44% from the field; Fullerton shot 37%.

The Lions controlled the rebounding in the first half, getting nine offensive boards to only three for Fullerton. Overall, the Lions had a 21-10 edge at halftime.

Fullerton led, 16-13, with slightly more than nine minutes gone on a rebound basket by Williams and a three-pointer by Kenroy Jarrett. Loyola Marymount bounced back with a series of close-range baskets to build a 29-18 lead before Chris St. Clair stopped the surge with a three-pointer.

St. Clair hit another three-pointer to bring the Titans back, and Overton added two consecutive baskets, one of them on a steal. Loyola Marymount led, 37-34, at halftime, however, with O'Quinn getting 10 first-half points.

Loyola Marymount stayed in control early in the second half, building its lead to 10 points on two baskets by Hotopp, but the Lions couldn't break away.

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