Three Records Set as Loyola Wins, 162-144

Times Staff Writer

That college basketball scoring machine known as Loyola Marymount was at it again Saturday night.

In the highest-scoring game in National Collegiate Athletic Assn. history, the Lions also set the record for the most points in a half en route to a 162-144 victory over U.S. International in front of 1,500 here.

In all, three scoring records were broken. The Lions also missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer and fell short of their single-game scoring record of 164 points set in the season opener against Azusa Pacific.

The records set Saturday night:


--Most total points (306). The previous record was 302 in the Loyola-Azusa Pacific game.

--Most points in a half, 93 by Loyola. The previous record of 87 was set by Oklahoma last season.

--Most points by a losing team. The previous record was 127 by Pepperdine in a game against Loyola last February.

The Lions’ were led by Hank Gathers’ 40 points, a career-best 38 by Enoch Simmons and 30 by Jeff Fryer.

Loyola had 82 rebounds, led by Gathers’ 23. USIU had 66.

Despite the impressive showing, Loyola Coach Paul Westhead said his team still has its best game ahead of it.

“I don’t really get into that (record) stuff that much,” Westhead said. “I’m into it this much--I would like to see our team play the perfect game, run the perfect break every time. That would be up around 240 (points). So 160 is just kind of dabbling with mediocrity.

“We played well in spurts. I think we can defend better than that.”

The Lions (6-5) took control with runs of 8 and 14 points in the first half.

But USIU (6-11) pulled to within 113-97 early in the second half, scoring 12 straight points before Loyola pulled away for good.

Simmons led the first-half assault with 27 points, including 10 of Loyola’s first 18. Simmons then helped break the half scoring record with 6 straight points in less than a minute.

His driving basket gave Loyola 87 points, tying Oklahoma’s one-half record with 1:31 left. Simmons then made a jumper from the left side, to break the mark at 1:12, then scored on another drive with 35 seconds left to break 90. Gathers scored Loyola’s last points before halftime on a drive down the lane.

Gathers scored 20 points in the half and Fryer 21 as Loyola shot 64% and made 5 of 11 3-point shots.

It wasn’t a total loss for USIU, which broke its records for points in a half (78) and a game.

Loyola shot 52% overall, to the Gulls’ 46%. Loyola took 124 shots, USIU 121. Gary Williams scored 40 points for USIU, and by Demetrius Laffitte had 34.

“It was a fun game to be in,” USIU Coach Gary Zarecky said. “This is the kind of game I’ve thought about playing for 25 years. But it’s more fun if you’re on the other end. People are coming up and congratulating me. I’m not sure what for.”