RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Jeremy Smith had a chance to win the game, but his three-pointer as time expired was off the mark and California Baptist fell to Loyola Marymount 56-55 in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday. The Lancers finish their first Division I season 16-15.
The Lancers shot 31.9 percent from the field on the game, their second-lowest field goal percentage of the season, and just 31.8 percent from three-point range, but connected on 18-of-19 (94.7 percent) from the free throw line. LMU shot 37 percent from the floor, 23 percent from downtown and 88 percent from the charity stripe. The Lancers out-rebounded the Lions 39-33, but committed 15 turnovers to LMU's five.
Milan Acquaah posted his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Heading also finished with 13 points, while Smith chipped in 11. Dejon Davis grabbed a game-high 13 boards.
LMU used a 9-0 run to take a 15-8 lead with 8:39 to go in the first half. CBU went without a field goal for more than eight minutes as the Lions pushed their lead to 19-9 when Heading finally hit a basket at the 5:02 mark. The Lancers' Ty Rowell hit a three-pointer at the end of the half to make in an eight-point game at halftime, 29-21.
CBU opened the second half on an 11-2 run to cut the LMU lead to one at the 16:24 mark, but the Lions quickly built the lead back to seven.
CBU tied the game at 53 on a Heading three-pointer with 1:27 remaining. It was CBU's first lead since 8-6 in the first half. The Lancers went ahead, 55-53, with 45 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Zach Pirog, but LMU scored on the next possession and made the free throw to go up 56-55.
After a timeout, Acquaah missed an awkward shot but the ball went off LMU, which set up the last chance by Smith.