Loyola Marymount ended a nightmarish year Thursday night in frustration.
The Lions, after leading for a sizable portion of the second half, squandered several scoring chances in the final five minutes as Texas A&M; rallied for an 81-79 nonconference victory at Gersten Pavilion.
It was the 18th consecutive defeat for Loyola (0-8), which was 3-23 in 1993. The Lions have not won since Jan. 30.
A basket by guard Ross Richardson gave Loyola a 71-66 lead with 8:16 left, but Texas A&M; (5-3) came back and took the lead for good, 77-75, on a jump shot by reserve forward Lance Broderson with 3:36 left. Broderson’s basket came in the middle of a Loyola cold stretch, in which the Lions turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions.
Loyola was also hurt in the final minutes by the absence of its two leading scorers. Forward Zan Mason did not return after suffering a knee injury with 12:04 left and center Wyking Jones fouled out with 4:46 remaining.
Reserve guard Bill Mazurie led the Lions with 20 points.
Forward Damon Johnson paced Texas A&M; with 26 points and 11 rebounds.