LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Troy Baxter scored a game-high 27 points with five rebounds and two blocks and Morgan State stunned Loyola Marymount 74-71 on Saturday night at Gersten Pavilion.
Baxter was 8 of 15 from the field for the Bears (6-8), including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Stanley Davis added 12 points and six boards, Malik Miller had nine points and Lagio Grantsaan chipped in eight.
Morgan State shot 48 percent from the field compared to 44 percent for LMU and outscored the Lions in the paint by a 26-14 margin.
LMU (6-8) trailed 40-32 at the intermission, but outscored the Bears 7-2 in the opening moments of the second half and trimmed the lead to 42-39 by the first media timeout.
Eli Scott, LMU’s leading scorer (17.3 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg), was held scoreless in the first half, but scored his first six points of the night to tie the game at 44-44 at the 12:16 mark. Despite tying the score, the Bears never surrendered the lead.
Erik Johansson scored 14 of his team-high 17 points (4-8 3FG) in the second half for the Lions. Ivan Alipiev scored 15 and Johnathan Dos Anjos had 11. Scott finished the game with 10 points and five rebounds to lead the Lions second half surge.
LMU trailed 61-54 before Johanson hit a 3-pointer to trim the lead to 61-57 and just moments later Sherwyn Devonish-Prince was whistled for a foul sending Deovaunta Williams to the charity stripe with 1:57 to go. Williams hit a pair of free throws to trim the Bears lead to 61-59. LMU would get no closer.
The Bears had a fantastic night from the free throw line where they shot 80 percent (20-25), and converted 13 of 15 to close out the game.
LMU had one final chance at overtime. Jordan Bell secured the defensive rebound off a second free throw attempt and launched it from the opposite cylinder. The ball traveled the length of the court, hitting the front rim and falling off short to end the game.
Morgan trailed 17-11 before Baxter, Davis and Grantsaan combined to score the next 14 points during an 18-3 run over a six-minute stretch. Malik Miller scored a layup to give the Bears a 29-20 lead with 5:28 left in the half.
Morgan was efficient on offense and finished the first half shooting 54.8 percent (17-31) from the field and connected on 5-of-11 3-pointers. The Bears shot just a single free throw the entire first 20 minutes of action.
Up Next: The Bears conclude their non-conference slate when they face CSUN on Tuesday at The Matadome in Northridge, California.