Saint Mary’s beats LMU for 13th straight win
MORAGA, Calif. (AP)—Omar Samhan had 12 points, 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists and Saint Mary’s matched the longest winning streak in school history at 13 games, beating Loyola Marymount 78-53 on Thursday night.
Diamon Simpson scored 14 points and Patty Mills added 11 points and eight assists for the Gaels (16-1, 3-0 WCC), who are off to the best start in school history. Their lone loss so far came to Texas-El Paso on Nov. 27 at Anaheim.
Jarred DuBois scored 17 points but had six turnovers and LaRon Armstead added 13 points and six rebounds to lead LMU (1-17, 0-2). The Lions couldn’t overcome 16 turnovers, 43-percent shooting and getting outrebounded 35-25 in their fifth straight defeat in the series.
Lions coach Max Good was in his new role for the first time since having the interim tag removed from his title Monday and receiving a multiyear deal. Good replaced Bill Bayno, who resigned for health reasons after being on medical leave since late November.
Up next for Saint Mary’s is Pepperdine on Saturday at McKeon Pavilion as the team looks to surpass the best winning streak by the program also accomplished during the 1958-59 season. Saint Mary’s then heads to San Diego next Thursday for the team’s final tuneup before its first showdown with WCC favorite and eight-time defending conference champion Gonzaga on Jan. 29 in Spokane.
Carlin Hughes connected on two 3-pointers as Saint Mary’s began the second half with a 12-3 spurt that put them up 56-26 on Samhan’s basket with 16:52 to play.
The Gaels, who improved to 7-0 at home, sported red uniforms for the first time since the 2006-07 season. That season, they went 0-5 in that color on the road.
“We asked to wear them. They’re cursed,” Hughes said before the game. “We had to break the curse.”
Saint Mary’s made six of its first 11 shots on the way to a quick 17-5 lead. The Gaels also had an 11-4 first-half run and hit their initial four 3-point attempts and shot 56.7 percent from the floor on the way to a 44-23 lead at the break.