LMU and Dunlap Part Ways

ATHLETICS | Loyola Marymount University and Mike Dunlap, men’s basketball head coach, have agreed to part ways, Athletic Director Craig Pintens announced Sunday. In six seasons coaching the Lions, Dunlap’s record was 81-108. In 2018-19, Dunlap led the team to an unprecedented 8-0 start, and the Lions returned to the postseason for the third time since 1990. The Lions also claimed the 2018 Jamaica Classic title. The change, effective immediately, allows the program to begin the search for a new leader for the Lions and a national search for a new head coach is underway.

Coach Dunlap wished to thank campus for the support during his six seasons.

“Dear LMU Community-

It has been an honor to be the head basketball coach at LMU: I am grateful always and in all ways. The administration, faculty, and students are the essence of LMU: so much talent and raw energy. I am particularly thankful to Dr. Bove and Dr. Husak for bringing me to LMU. It was a very rich experience, plain and simple. Moreover, I wish the best to Craig Pintens and President Snyder as they lead LMU to a higher place. Finally, I want to thank my staff and players for allowing me to be a part of your lives.” – Mike Dunlap

The West Coast Conference’s 10 head coaches have selected the league’s All-Conference and All-Freshman teams, the WCC announced on Tuesday. Following stellar seasons, both Eli Scott and Keli Leaupepe were recognized by the West Coast Conference for their play in 2019-20. Scott was named as a Second Team All-Conference player for the first time in his career after leading the Lions in points (15.4), rebounds (6.6), assists (4.4), steals (1.1), and minutes (34.4). Within the WCC, Scott ranked seventh in scoring, seventh in rebounding, fourth in assists, third in minutes played and second in field goal percentage. This season, Scott scored a career-high 31 points at No. 20 Colorado, tied his career-best rebounding mark with 13 on two occasions, posted a top-10 single-game assists record with 13, and recorded the program’s first triple-double with 11/13/13 against Grambling State on Dec. 7, 2019.

LMU men’s basketball held a double-digit lead for the final 13-plus minutes of the second half in Thursday night’s First Round win in the WCC Tournament. The Lions extended a 10-point halftime lead to defeat San Diego, 75-61. Scott recorded his seventh double-double of the season in LMU’s second round loss in Friday night’s WCC Tournament. The Lions saw their year come to a close with an 82-53 loss to San Francisco. Scott moved into the top-10 all-time with 14 career double-doubles.

Lions’ women’s basketball players CiCi Ellington and Chelsey Gipson received WCC All-Team honors, announced by the conference on Tuesday. Ellington is one of five first-year students to be named to the WCC All-Freshman Team as she proved to be a versatile player her first season. Ellington is second on the team in points, with 325 on the season, second in rebounds with 158, third on the team in steals with 41, and first on the team in assists with 83. Gipson was named Honorable Mention, the junior’s second All-Conference selection. Gipson leads the team in scoring with 328 on the season and is second in steals with 43. The Los Angeles native also leads the team in three-point attempts, with 162.

The tenth-seeded LMU women’s basketball team concluded its 2019-20 season on Thursday after playing a hard-fought game against the seventh-seeded Saint Mary’s at the West Coast Conference Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. Ellington set her career high in points with 25, though the Lions came up short, falling to the Gaels 72-63.

After the LMU beach volleyball team fell to No. 5 USC on the road on Thursday, the No. 8 Lions picked up a Sunday sweep over three ranked teams, as the Lions beat No. 14 Long Beach State, 3-2, No. 15 South Carolina, 5-0, and No. 10 Stetson, 4-1. The Lions’ win over LBSU was the first in program history.  Play continues this weekend in Phoenix with games against Ottawa University, Texas A&M, and Grand Canyon.

LMU women’s water polo won all four of their games over the weekend at the Claremont Convergence. On Friday, No. 12 LMU topped Cal State Monterey Bay in the morning game, 12-7, before defeating La Salle, 16-7, to finish the tournament’s first day. The Lions defeated St.  Francis, 10-4, and Concordia, 11-9, on Saturday to close out the weekend with a perfect 4-0 mark. Conference play begins next as LMU travels to Azusa Pacific on March 14.

The Lions baseball team followed up a midweek loss to UC Riverside, by getting a weekend sweep at San Jose State. The Lions got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning and responded with a two-run fourth, then put together a five-run sixth inning, to pull away from the Spartans, 7-5, on Friday night. LMU then played through a 1 hour, 5 minute rain delay and an early inning deficit to fight their way back to earn an 8-3 win over the Spartans. The Lions were aided by a big third inning and added runs in the top of the eighth and ninth to take the second contest of the three-game set on Saturday afternoon. The Lions put runs on the board in six of the game’s nine innings and came away with the series sweep of SJSU by taking the third contest 7-2 on Sunday afternoon. LMU now heads into West Coast Conference play next weekend when they travel to Provo, Utah, for a three-game set against Brigham Young. The Lions and Cougars will begin the set on Thursday, March 12, with first pitch set for 5 p.m. PDT.

The Lions are now receiving votes for the NCAA Softball rankings after making program history by beating two top-15 teams in a season. After getting rained out on the first day of the Oregon Invitational, the Loyola Marymount University softball team split on its first day of play in Eugene, Oregon, beating Portland State, 9-8, but losing to No. 11 Oregon, 7-5. LMU then also split on its last day of the Oregon Invitational, falling to Seattle University, 12-4, and then beating Portland State, 6-5. The Lions will be back at home at Smith Field next week to host the LMU Invitational starting Thursday.

The LMU men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Beach Opener, hosted Saturday by Long Beach State University. Of the seven Lions who competed in the 1500, four set career bests. This meet served as a tune up for the Lions and the full squad will debut in their primary events at the Oxy Distance Carnival Classic next Saturday, March 14, at the Bill Henry Olympic Track on the campus of Occidental College.

The LMU women’s tennis team picked up its second sweep of the year on Thursday afternoon, as the team swept Long Beach State University, 4-0, in Long Beach, California. The Lions then beat No. 50 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday after dropping the doubles point and coming back in singles play to beat the ranked team. LMU will be back home to take on Southern Methodist this Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The Lions men’s tennis team dropped its match against UNLV on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada, losing to the Rebels, 6-1, and then to UTSA, 4-2, the next day. LMU came home and swept Utah State University on Monday afternoon after quickly clinching the doubles point and then dominating in singles play. The Lions have canceled Wednesday’s match against SMU due to rain. The team will head to Fresno to take on Fresno State on Friday.

The LMU men’s golf team completed two rounds of play at the 2020 Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic. The Lions shot 302-303—605 in the team competition, while Justin Egelske is tied for fourth in the individual race at the Coronado Invitational. At 2-under par, Egelske’s opening round 68 shot the senior towards the top of the 24-player field. Through two rounds, Egelske is at 68-74—142. The teams will try to fight through expected rain on Tuesday morning to get the final rounds in. The SD Classic will tee off at 8:30 a.m. at the San Diego Country Club. The Coronado Individual begins around 8 a.m. at the Coronado Golf Course.

LMU Athletics asks you to take part in One LMU Drive. The fundraising initiative that calls upon the entire Lions community to make an impact that will transform the future for generations to come. The university’s future is shaped gift by gift, no matter the amount. An investment in LMU Athletics has unlimited potential. Lions Athletic Fund, the annual giving program of LMU Athletics, aims to raise $350,000 or more on Day of Giving on March 18, 2020, and surpass last year’s record success when LMU Athletics raised $234,173, from 1,952 gifts. This year we need supporters to continue the momentum and keep building a foundation of success. A university-wide initiative, Day of Giving provides an opportunity to support the Lions on and off the field of play, while showing the impact athletics has upon the LMU community.