LOS ANGELES -- The Vikings opened the game with a 16-6 run while playing strong defense that forced the Lions into seven turnovers in the first seven minutes. PSU stayed ahead until the Lions answered with eight points over a 1:15 stretch late in the period to close the gap. Brandon Brown had 20 points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal on Friday night as Loyola-Marymount used a big second half to defeat Portland State 78-62.
Trailing 33-32 at halftime due to a tip-in by Deontae North, the Lions never had a deficit after Steven Haney's three-pointer 12 seconds into the second half helped erase a 10-point first half deficit for LMU. Portland State (1-3) tied it on the next basket, but Loyola-Marymount was able to get the game played at its pace as the Lions rallied from behind.
LMU held on to a double-digit lead that grew to 18 at one point as they were able to cruise the rest of the night, earning them a win over Portland State before a crowd of 1,219 at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles. LMU came out hot in the second half, hitting 10 of its first 14 shots. Successful shooting from the Lions gave them a 21-9 run allowing them to build a 56-44 advantage with 10:08 remaining in the second. The Vikings hit only five of their first 12 shots during the half and was even worse at the line on 4-of-14 shooting.
Freshman Erik Johansson came off the bench to hit 5-of-7 three-pointers contributing 15 points, while Haney finished with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists, hitting a pair of three-pointers. The Lions entered the week leading the WCC in three-point defense at 22 percent and held the Vikings to just 5-for-21 from three (23.8). LMU finished on 57.4 percent shooting from the field as they shot 62 percent in the second half. PSU was held to its fewest points and its poorest shooting percentage of 37.7 for the season. Braxton Tucker led the Vikings with 15 points and six rebounds, with Zach Gentler adding 12 points and five assists. Traylin Farris came off the bench to score 10 points on 5-6 field goals.
Portland State will play Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon in a 2:30 p.m. game. The Lions will have 10 days to rest before hosting Boise State on Monday, Dec. 5 for a home game. The Lions are in the middle of a four-game homestead that will end with Southern Utah on Thursday, Dec 8.