Basketball Teams Head to WCC Championships

ATHLETICS | WCC Championships week is upon us: The West Coast Conference has announced the brackets and game times for the 2019 University Credit Union WCC Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. All 18 games will be televised live nationwide, and all 18 will be streamed online. Both Loyola Marymount basketball teams earned the five seeds in their respective brackets and earned a bye into the second-round games. With tournament action beginning Friday for the Lions, click here for all you need to know.

Loyola Marymount men’s basketball hit the 20-win plateau for the second time since 1990 with a 74-69 win on Saturday over San Francisco. The win followed a thriller on Thursday night, in which the Lions erased a 20-point second half deficit to defeat Santa Clara, 72-70, on Senior Night. The game was the final regular season home game for James Batemon, Jeffery McClendon, and Petr Herman.

The Loyola Marymount women’s basketball team upended Portland Thursday night, as the Lions came out with a 70-54 win on the road. LMU then battled on the road against No. 16 Gonzaga, and despite holding a halftime lead could not top the conference’s top team. Earlier in the week, two players were named to the 2018-19 West Coast Conference Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team, while three players were named honorable mention, announced by the conference on Wednesday. Graduate student Bree Alford and senior Andee Velasco made the 10-person All-Academic Team. LMU is the only team to boast two athletes on the roster. Cierra Belvin, Josie Buckingham and Bianca Velasco were all named honorable mention.

LMU beach volleyball (5-1) swept Cal State Northridge and Vanguard University, 5-0, on Thursday, while falling to No. 2 USC, 4-1, on Wednesday. This week’s competition includes a pair of games in Long Beach on Wednesday against both Stetson and Long Beach State.

Over the weekend, indoor volleyball’s Tess Reid and Megan Rice represented the Lions at the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on March 1-3. The pair were among over 200 athletes competing for a spot on one of the U.S. Women’s National Team Programs.

The 12th-ranked Loyola Marymount women’s water polo team (9-7) won both games at the Claremont Convergence for the second-straight day. LMU outscored both Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and St. Francis by a combined 27-9 over the two games on Friday. The Lions then went undefeated in the tournament with Saturday wins over Virginia Military Institute and Sonoma State, opening both games with 7-1 leads after each first quarter.

The Loyola Marymount softball team beat San Diego State in its home-opener Tuesday afternoon, as the Lions came out on top, 2-1. Over the weekend, LMU defeated New Mexico on Friday morning, 4-2, and shutout CSUN 3-0 Sunday evening, giving them a 2-2 record at the tournament. The Lions will host South Dakota Wednesday for a double-header from Smith Field before opening the first weekend of the LMU Tournament on Friday.

Freshman Riley Ehlen earned her first West Coast Conference Player of the Week award, announced by the conference on Monday. Ehlen was a key asset in the Lions’ win over CSUN, as she hit a home run that earned her two of her five RBI’s for the week. She also earned two against No. 22 Auburn and one against New Mexico, while logging a .333 percent batting average.

Baseball player Brandon Shearer had been named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week, after batted .471 (8 for 17) in the Lions five games played during the previous week. He produced two runs, two RBIs, one double, one walk and had an on-base percentage of .550 and a slugging percentage of .529. Shearer’s week was highlighted on Feb. 20 against UC Riverside when he batted .714 (3 for 4), scoring two runs, including a steal of home plate.

The Lions followed up the announcement with a home win over UC Irvine on Tuesday before heading to Oregon for three. The seven-game road stretch continues this week with a Tuesday game at USC, before the team flies to Louisiana Lafayette for a weekend three-game series.

Sophomore Gavin Cohen earned his first top-five finish as a member of the Loyola Marymount men’s golf team this week after transferring into the program at the semester break. At Monday and Tuesday’s Southwestern Invitational, Cohen tied for fourth with a season-low 73-68-72—213. The team’s best collective round was the second. LMU finished the tournament at 298-291-297—886, and recorded the second-lowest mark on Par 3 holes, averaging 3.22 strokes.

The WCC rowing preseason poll has been released. Last year’s runners-up, Loyola Marymount, placed just behind Gonzaga with two first-place votes and 31 points for second place. The Lions placed three on the All-WCC squad, led by 2018 All-WCC rower Ellery Martin, and joined by Anna Barry and Lauren Compeau.

The LMU men’s and women’s rowing teams need your support as the Lions take on rowers from around the world at the 46th Annual Crew Classic on Mission Bay in San Diego, Calif. The Lions Rowing Association will once again hold festivities at the 2019 San Diego Crew Classic. For more information, including how to register, please visit: LMU at San Diego Crew Classic.

Head Coach John Loughran has announced the signing of Moorpark High School’s Connor Settem to the men’s water polo team for the upcoming season. Settem will join the Lions with numerous academic and athletic accolades. His classroom achievements include four years as a National AP Scholar with Distinction, USA Water Polo Academic All-American in 2017 and 2018, American Water Polo Academic All-American in 2018, four years with Coastal Canyon All-League with Honors recognition, four years on the Principals Award Honor Roll, and four years as a Scholar Athlete with a 4.0.