USF Captures First WCC Win of the Season

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Coach Rex Walters
Coach Rex Walters rallies his team to their first WCC victory over the visiting LMU Lions. Walters is a passionate coach who cheers loudly from the sidelines. (Melissa Stihl|Foghorn)

This past Saturday night the USF Dons powered to a 75-53 point victory over the visiting Loyola Marymount Lions. This was the first West Coast Conference victory of the season for the Dons. The Lions on the other hand have yet to earn their first West Coast Conference win this season.

The Lions started off strong jumping out to an impressive 11-2 lead only eight minutes into the game. Meanwhile, the Dons missed seven of their first eight shots, before preventing the Lions to only score a total of 53 points, the lowest for any USF Division 1 opponent this season. The Lions’ momentum fluttered after the first quarter, as they only scored 11 more points throughout the first half, and went through an eight minute stint where they only scored one basket to start the second half. It took them five minutes into the second half to finally score a field goal.

The Dons consistently played a well-stratified game, particularly in the second half, as they gained back the lead and refused to let it go. Dior Lowhorn helped the Dons with 11 points in the first half and countless important rebounds in the second half. Lowhorn is also the West Coast Conference’s leading scorer, with an average of 20.1 points per game prior to Saturday night’s victory. He finished the game with 23 points while also grabbing 14 rebounds. Angelo Caloiaro also played a huge role in the Dons victory as he earned 11 points and six boards off the bench. Senior guard Manny Quezada was on the assist six times with five rebounds while also adding eight points off the bench. Teammate Blake Wallace added nine points to the Dons final score.

The Dons scored 14 straight points heading into halftime, as LMU failed to get anything out of their 13 posessions, which resulted in six turnovers and seven missed shots. Lowhorn brought the Don’s victory home as he opened with a strong second half, leaving it next to impossible for the Lions to catch up.

The Lions struggled as only one player hit more than half of his attempts from the floor. Vernon Teel and Kevin Young were two of the Lions most valuable players, but could not carry the team alone. Many of LMU’s players were out due to injury, so the less experienced players were forced into larger roles.

This loss counted towards LMU’s 0-12 losing streak on road games this season. In fact, the Lions have not won an away game since their December 2007 victory against the Riverside Highlanders. The overall record for the Lion’s this season is (1-22) with a conference record of (0-7). They return to their home gym to play a three game home stand. The first game is against Pepperdine, whom the Dons lost to on Thursday.

The Dons continue to hold solid statistics as have an overall record of (9-13) and a WCC record of (1-6). Their next game is away, versus Saint Mary’s on Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m. Their next home game is versus Portland on Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m.

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