The Loyola Marymount Lions have been road warriors all season in the West Coast Conference, and on Wednesday night the Lions slayed their biggest road foe of the season, beating the No. 21 Saint Mary's Gaels 75-60 at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga. The loss was the first home defeat of the year for the Gaels, who suffered just their second conference loss of the year. LMU ended the road portion of its WCC schedule at 7-1.
The win for Loyola Marymount snapped an 11-game losing streak against Saint Mary's, and the Lions picked up their first road win over the Gaels since 2005. Loyola Marymount improved to 3-7 this season against teams currently ranked in the RPI top 50, and the Lions are 3-2 against teams ranked at the time they played.
Anthony Ireland scored 16 points and had seven assists for the Lions (17-10, 10-4), who shot 47.2% from the field for the game. Drew Viney scored 17 points for Loyola Marymount, and Jarred DuBois added 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Loyola Marymount led 34-29 at halftime.
Rob Jones had a double-double for Saint Mary's with 25 points and 15 rebounds, but the Lions made Jones work for his points as the forward made 10 of his 22 field goals. Matthew Dellavedova added 10 points, five rebounds, and six assists for the Gaels (23-4, 12-2), who pulled into a tie in the loss column with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the WCC.
The win for Loyola Marymount meant they will finish no worse than fourth in the final WCC regular season standings, as the Lions hold the tiebreaker over the San Francisco Dons (17-10, 7-6). Being in the top four in the conference means the Lions will get a bye past the opening day of the WCC Tournament, which begins on February 29.
The Lions continue their busy schedule of late with a game on Friday night against Valparaiso at Gersten Pavilion, a BracketBusters game that will be televised on ESPNU. The game against Valparaiso will be the fourth game in nine days for Loyola Marymount.