A tune-up before the start of conference play turned into an embarrassing defeat for Loyola Marymount on Monday night, when Point Loma pulled out a 73-71 victory on John Anderson's alley-oop dunk with 8.5 seconds to play at Gersten Pavilion.
The result wasn't what Loyola had in mind when it scheduled its nonconference finale. Point Loma, an NAIA school, carries only nine players and was 5-27 last season.
"Our players were clearly not ready to play," Loyola Coach Steve Aggers said. "We got caught looking beyond this team because it's not a Division I team, and we got burned for it."
It was Loyola's first loss to an NAIA school since UC San Diego defeated the Lions, 87-82, in January 1983.
Loyola (6-9) failed to score after Sherman Gay's layup gave the Lions a 71-68 lead with 3:20 left. A shot-clock violation, a turnover and two missed shots in the waning seconds by Brandon Worthy and Andy Osborn sealed Loyola's fate.
Anderson led Point Loma (9-4) with 16 points and scored the game-winning basket after catching a pass near the rim from guard Corey Thomas. Crusader forward Trenton Berglund, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds, had tied the score, 71-71, by making a free throw with 58 seconds left.
Point guard Charles Brown scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half for Loyola, helping the Lions erase a five-point deficit, but he committed a critical turnover by dribbling the ball off his leg out of bounds with 31 seconds left.
Loyola struggled from the outset.
The Lions came out flat and fell behind, 14-10, before using a 10-0 run to take a 27-18 lead with 5:16 left in the half.
But Point Loma was able to draw fouls by attacking the basket and pulled within 37-33 at halftime despite making only 12 of 32 shots.