Lions Play Tough, Fall to No. 3 Gonzaga

ATHLETICS | In front of the largest crowd in a dozen years, the LMU men’s basketball team hosted the No. 3 team in the country. The sellout crowd of 4,213 fans Thursday night saw the Lions battle throughout before ultimately falling to Gonzaga, 73-60. The Lions continued to play tough Saturday with the conference’s second-place team, BYU. LMU led for more than 33 minutes but a late scoring drought allowed the Cougars to pull away, 70-62. The Lions have just one game on the schedule this week, The WCC Game of the Week at Pacific this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on Spectrum Sportsnet.

This February, as the country recognizes Black History Month, LMU Athletics is celebrating and documenting those African American student-athletes who made us great. Last week, we recognized week former women’s basketball star Adrianne Slaughter at the game against Pepperdine. LMU women’s basketball is set for their final two home games of the season this week, with St. Mary’s coming in Thursday night for the annual Pride in Pink game and Pacific playing at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday’s game will also begin with Senior Day recognitions honoring the Senior Class in their final home game. Tickets are still available for both games!

The Loyola Marymount softball team split during its first day at the Long Beach State Tournament, as they swept UC Riverside and fell to Boise State after a 10-inning thriller. The Lions 5-1 start is tied with the program’s best start all-time. They split the following day as well, as the team picked up a win in the eighth inning against Cal Poly, but then fell to No. 2 UCLA on Sunday. The team plays a road series at Sacramento State, then makes their home debuts on Feb. 26 against San Diego State. Tickets to the LMU Softball Tournament are now on sale, with the tournament returning back-to-back weekends March 8-10 and 14-17.

The Loyola Marymount baseball team had an unexpected home opener on Saturday night against UC Santa Barbara. Due to inclement weather, the series was relocated from Santa Barbara’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium down to Page Stadium. This is becoming a regular occurrence for the Lions and Gauchos as it’s the second time in the past three years the series has shifted from Santa Barbara to LMU. LMU split the two games, dropping the opener and gutting out a tough 9-7 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon and split the weekend two-game series. This will be a full weekend for the Lions with road games at UCLA and UC Riverside on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, before the official opening series Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Page Stadium.

Former Loyola Marymount standout player and assistant baseball coach Dave Grant was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as part of their 2019 class. Grant played for Lions head coach Marv Wood from 1969-72 and while at LMU established a career fielding record of .986. After his playing days concluded he turned his attention to the coaching ranks. He coached at Loyola High School for a year before returning to his high school alma mater Brophy Prep and then ultimately returning to the Lions for the 1979 season.

The LMU swim team competed this past week in the PCSC Championships. Senior Abby Chopp became the second LMU swimmer to win a conference event following Isabel Willis’ first place win in the 200 freestyle on FridayFull results from the week of competition can be found here.

Loyola Marymount men’s golf picked right back up when the sun returned on Tuesday to take second as a team in The Farms Invitational. The Lions were led by Riley Elmes who placed second individually. After a week off, the Lions will compete locally at Pepperdine’s Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, California, on Feb. 25-26.

The women’s tennis team made the most of their home debut on Saturday. LMU took all four singles points to beat Arkansas, 4-1. The Lions will be back on the road this week for a Thursday afternoon match at Cal State Fullerton.

Loyola Marymount women’s water polo team benefited from a strong third quarter to pull out a victory under the lights at the Canyonview Aquatics Center. The No. T-13 Lions doubled up No. T-17 UC San Diego, 12-6, to win their lone game of the week. The team will compete this weekend at UC Irvine’s annual tournament Friday through Sunday.

Men’s tennis player Lukas Moenter was named the West Coast Conference Singles Player of the Week, as announced by the conference on Tuesday. The Lions lost to Oregon on the road this past weekend, but return to the LMU Tennis Center for a Saturday home match against UNC Wilmington at 1 p.m.

The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recognized both the men’s and women’s cross country teams as well as senior Koby Pederson with All-Academic Honors. LMU men’s team earned the honor with a 3.41 GPA and the women’s team with a 3.36 GPA. Head Coach Scott Guerrero’s track team will compete at the West Coast Invitational this weekend.

The Lions hit the sand for the first time this spring. LMU’s Beach Volleyball team opens their season with a trio of games in Phoenix, taking on Grand Canyon on Friday and both Arizona State and New Mexico on Saturday.

The volleyball programs learned of a pair of signings over the last week. Mary Shroll has signed her National Letter of intent to play indoor and beach volleyball with the Lions and Gatorade State Player of the Year Award winner Audrey Klemp has signed her National Letter of Intent to play indoor volleyball with the Lions starting in the fall.