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College Basketball

Lions' Second-Half Rally Tops Portland

January 19, 2002|ERIC STEPHENS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

On a night when nearly everything in Gersten Pavilion malfunctioned, Loyola Marymount didn't break down.

Kent Dennis made a 30-foot three-point basket as the shot clock expired to give the Lions an insurmountable five-point lead with 1 minute 11 seconds left, then they went on to an 85-77 West Coast Conference victory Friday over Portland after trailing by seven at halftime.

Dennis was originally trying to pass to Greg Lakey, but the forward was being closely guarded. Dennis continued to dribble, and as the shot clock neared zero, he turned and shot.

"We were supposed to get the ball to Greg and I didn't have a good lane," Dennis said. "Everybody just started yelling at me to shoot the ball. I got a good look and it went in."

The Lions took the good fortune when bad things were happening all around them. In the second half, a bank of lights went out twice and the scoreboard repeatedly shut off in the 20-year-old gymnasium.

Loyola Coach Steve Aggers said the many breaks in play helped his team.

"With Greg and Andy [Osborn] both with four fouls, I thought it gave us a chance to rest our guys," Aggers said. "With all the media timeouts, you're going to have a lot of stoppages in the game and I've tried to get the team to look at it as four-minute games we have to win."

Lakey and Dennis each scored 14 points, Sherman Gay had 13 and Osborn had 12 for Loyola (9-8, 2-1). Osborn also had 11 rebounds and Lakey had nine.

Portland (4-13, 0-3) built its lead to 50-39 with 16:51 remaining but eventually lost its ninth consecutive game.

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