ATHLETICS | The statue depicting legendary Lion Hank Gathers now permanently stands outside of Hank’s House, Gersten Pavilion. LMU Athletics welcomed back the Gathers family, players and coaches from the 1989-90 Elite Eight team, and fans to witness a touching tribute to the best player to ever wear an LMU jersey.
Senior Erik Johansson opened the week by being named to the WCC Men’s Basketball All-Academic for the second consecutive season. Johansson is the lone senior on the Lions’ squad this season and is set to graduate in May with a degree in psychology. Johansson carries a 3.43 GPA.
On Thursday, Johansson hit a three with 2:47 to play to tie the game at 53-53, but those were the final points of the game for LMU men’s basketball team as Pacific closed on a 7-0 run. The Lions dropped the penultimate game of the regular season, 60-53, to University of the Pacific. On Saturday, The Lions picked up the steal they needed in the final seconds against San Francisco, and had a look for the win, but the ball rimmed out, resulting in a 69-67 loss to close the regular season.
The Lions will enter the conference championships as the eighth seed, and will play San Diego for just the second time this season. The Lions beat the Toreros back in the conference opener on Jan. 2, 64-58. The tournament time for the 8/9 game will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday from the Orleans Arena.
The LMU women’s basketball team had three players score in double digits in their game against San Diego on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Toreros, as the Lions fell, 54-50. The Lions then played a tight game against BYU on Saturday, as the teams was neck and neck all first quarter, and then came back to take the lead third quarter. The Lions fell short in their last regular season road game, losing to the Cougars 57-42.
The women’s basketball team will enter the conference championships as the 10th seed, and will play Saint Mary’s on Thursday at 2 p.m. from Orleans Arena. Women’s single session tickets are still available through the WCC’s Tournament Central.
The LMU men’s golf team shot a 284-285-285—854 to earn a top-five finish for the first time this season. The Lions placed fourth overall in the field of 19, and were led by the first career runner-up finish from Gavin Cohen. The Lions were one of four teams to shoot 10-under par or better, and finished the tournament five strokes out of first place. The Lions will next compete at the Lamkin Grips SD Classic from March 9-10.
The LMU softball team had a stellar weekend playing in the Judi Garman Classic. The Lions opened the tournament with an upset win No. 4 Louisiana State University, 1-0, on Thursday afternoon, marking the highest ranked win in program history. Linnay Wilson was back on the mound as LMU won their second upset of the Judi Garman Classic on Friday. The Lions beat No. 13 Michigan on the second day, 2-1, of the tournament in Fullerton, California. This is the first time in program history the Lions have beat two top-15 opponents in one season. The team split on day three with a mercy-rule victory over Cal Poly, beating the Mustangs 13-3, and then losing to Boise State University, 6-4.
Wilson earned her first West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week honor of the 2020 season, announced by the conference on Monday. Wilson earns the weekly honor after leading the Lions to the two upsets victories over LSU and Michigan. The junior pitched two complete games, allowing only one run against Michigan. Wilson pitched 19.1 innings, going 2-0 on the weekend with a 2.79 ERA, while collecting 13 strikeouts. Wilson and the rest of the Lion squad will be back in action starting this Thursday, as the team will be at the Oregon Invitational.
LMU baseball had a wild weekend at UC Davis. After Friday’s game was suspended in the 13th inning due to darkness, the Lions resumed the game on Saturday with an extra 11 innings. The marathon game ended in the 24th inning with a walk-off sacrifice fly, pushing Saturday’s game into a double-header for Sunday. LMU bounced back and swept Sunday’s doubleheader against the Aggies, winning 12-3 and 10-6, to take the series. LMU returns home to Page Stadium for a midweek game on Tuesday, March 3, when they host UC Riverside with the first pitch slated for 6 p.m.
The Loyola Marymount University beach volleyball was picked to finish first in the West Coast Conference, announced by the conference this week. The Lions received the maximum 36 total points allotted, which was voted on by the team’s head coaches. While the Lions are No. 1 in the conference, they are heading into the 2020 season with a No. 8 preseason ranking, according to the AVCA Preseason Poll. LMU split on its day of play in San Luis Obispo, as the Lions beat No. 6 Pepperdine, 3-2, and fell to No. 8 Cal Poly, 3-2. LMU’s win over rival Pepperdine marks the third straight win over the Waves.
Both tennis teams played a single game last week. The men’s team lost to Utah, 4-3, on Saturday. They will next head to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take on UNLV and University of Texas San Antonio. The women’s team dropped their match to No. 31 USC on Saturday. The Lions will be back in action on Thursday, as the team will head to Long Beach State.
The Golden Coast Conference has announced that LMU’s Kelsey Snelgar has been named GCC Player of the Week for her water polo performance at last weekend’s Barbara Kalbus Invitational hosted by UC Irvine. The Lions will resume play at the Claremont Convergence on March 6-7 before starting conference play at Azusa Pacific the following weekend.