It has taken a little over a season under Coach Steve Aggers but Loyola Marymount may have found the right formula to win basketball games. Tough defense. Good bench play. Great free-throw shooting.
The Lions got all that in an impressive 77-70 nonconference victory over UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night at Gersten Pavilion. In defeating the Gauchos, Loyola (4-3) built off the momentum of its road victory Sunday at Texas A&M. The Lions held Santa Barbara (4-2) to 39% shooting and outscored the Gauchos' bench, 41-14.
Loyola clinched its second consecutive victory by making 29 of 33 free throws, including 16 of 18 in the final 2:03 to withstand a Gaucho comeback.
Point guard Eurskine Robinson made all 12 of his foul shots and scored a career-high 18 points.
Kent Dennis had 17 points and Robert Davis 16 to lead a potent bench that scored 26 of Loyola's 37 points in the first half.
"Tonight, I thought he showed great poise in taking care of the ball," Aggers said of Robinson. "He made good decisions at the end of the game."
Mark Hull had a game-high 27 points but Branduinn Fullove, the Gauchos' second-leading scorer, had only eight on two-for-12 shooting.
"Marcus Smith and Kent both did a great job on him defensively," Aggers said.