NCAA

Saint Mary's takes bad loss to LMU, 75-60

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Saint Mary's takes bad loss to LMU, 75-60

BOX SCORE
MORAGA -- Drew Viney scored 17 points, Anthony Ireland had 16 and Loyola Marymount bounced back from one of its most lopsided losses of the season to beat No. 21 Saint Mary's 75-60 on Wednesday night.Jarred Dubois added 15 points and Ashley Hamilton had 11 for the Lions (17-10, 10-4 West Coast Conference), who silenced a capacity crowd at McKeon Pavilion with a huge road win that significantly tightened the conference race.The 10 conference wins are the most by Loyola Marymount since the 1989-90 Bo Kimble-led Lions made it to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.

It was the first loss in 17 home games for the first-place Gaels (23-4, 12-2), who saw their lead over No. 24 Gonzaga trimmed to one game.Rob Jones had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Saint Mary's, which lost starting guard Stephen Holt to a right knee injury in the first half.The game was reminiscent of the Gaels' late-season conference loss to unranked San Diego a year ago, which prevented Saint Mary's from clinching the outright conference title.Some also believe it was the pivotal factor in the Gaels not receiving an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament, something that has to weigh on coach Randy Bennett's mind with only three games left on the schedule.Loyola Marymount, on the other hand, is riding high only less than a week after losing to No. 24 Gonzaga by 19 points.The Lions snapped their 11-game losing streak to Saint Mary's with an aggressive, effective defense that kept the Gaels from getting any kind of interior game going and an offense that repeatedly scored off offensive rebounds to keep the overflow crowd silent.Saint Mary's shot just 6 of 28 from 3-point range, including 1 of 13 in the second half.Ireland got the Lions going early but it was Viney, the team's leading scorer, and Hamilton who came up big in the second half. Viney made a 3-pointer to give Loyola Marymount a 52-42 lead with 9:24 left then later put an emphatic stamp on the win with a soaring one-handed dunk from the baseline while Hamilton scored six points in the final 5 1-2 minutes.That helped the Lions improve to 9-3 on the road this season, a big accomplishment for a team that has been beset by injuries to several key players this season.Even when Ireland went to the bench because of foul trouble late in the second half, Loyola Marymount didn't flinch.Saint Mary's could have clinched an automatic spot in the semifinals of the conference tournament by beating Loyola Marymount. Instead it was the Lions who improved their postseason outlook while trimming the Gaels' lead in the WCC to one game over Gonzaga.It was a rough night all around for Bennett's squad.Holt left the game and needed to use crutches after the game while Matthew Dellavedova rolled his ankle and was limping noticeably.Dellavedova finished with 10 points and six assists.The Gaels missed five of their first six shots but came back to take a 13-11 lead on Jones' 3-pointer with 12:25 left that had the standing room only crowd at McKeon Pavilion roaring.Officials called a timeout to review Jones' shot and the brief delay seemed to bother Saint Mary's, which fell back into its offensive funk over the next 6 minutes.Loyola Marymount, which hadn't beaten the Gaels since the semifinals of the WCC tournament in 2006, scored the next 10 points and went ahead 30-20 on Ashley Hamilton's free throw.The conference leader in steals, Holt limped off the court shortly after getting caught in a pile while scrambling for a loose ball and spent the second half on the end of the bench with his right knee wrapped in a thick bag of ice.Without one of its top defenders and the team's third-leading scorer, Saint Mary's struggled to find any consistency on either end of the court.The Gaels made two brief runs in the second half but couldn't get closer than five points.

Memory of the late Bob Murphy will live on the heads of those who heard him

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STANFORD.COM

Memory of the late Bob Murphy will live on the heads of those who heard him

Bob Murphy, who was the voice of Stanford athletics when such titles truly mattered in the Bay Area, died Tuesday after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 86.

Murphy was viscerally connected to the university in ways that were once in vogue across the nation but are now reserved only to the Midwest and Southeast. He was a walking ambassador for the school’s athletic history, a familiar face to the army of alums who linked to his voice and presence early and ultimately grew old with him, even when coaches and players and athletic directors came and went with unsettling frequency.

And while his time as the alternate face to Hoover Tower eventually faded, he was still Murph – to be honored and respected by all generations, even the ones who never heard him or saw him. If anyone below the age of 25 asked about him, he was spoken of with the reverence reserved for architectural structures or hundred-year-old trees. He belonged to the place, and the place belonged to him.

He mattered at Stanford, because Stanford is an insular community, watching the world outside with a palpable sense of “Thank God we’re safe in here.” He attended the school, he worked as its sports information director, and he was the radio voice who fought for Stanford when only a few people were listening. He had proven his devotion decades ago, until his devotion became part of the background noise and scenery.

And he didn’t even leave after he became ill, and then absent. Only the most successful coaches and athletes get to attain that omnipresent aura in college athletics, and in truth, Murphy reached more people in the community than any coach or player the school has ever had, simply by being at the place, and of the place, longer and more happily than anyone.

Sometime soon, we suspect, he will be remembered with a statue, either near the football stadium or near Maples Pavilion. He will be bronzed, wearing a polo shirt with the S-with-the-interlocking-tree and glasses wedged against the bridge of his nose. He will be seated, with a desk before him and microphone perched atop it, and there will be a plaque with a Wikipedia-ized list of his contributions.

But without the voice, it will be incomplete. That will have to be recreated inside the heads of those who heard it most often, and cared most what words it carried. It is there where Bob Murphy’s memory will thrive – as someone who defined Stanford in ways that no marketing campaign ever could.

David Shaw is quietly the second-best coach in the Bay Area

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USATI

David Shaw is quietly the second-best coach in the Bay Area

Steve Kerr has been the standard by which all other coaches have been measured in these parts since he arrived in Oakland – rescued as it was from the nine hells of the New York Knickerbockers. He is indeed so good that he is still getting credit for the 50 wins he actually didn’t fully merit – the 39 that belong to Luke Walton and the 11 that are Mike Brown’s.

But this is not to slag Kerr’s record – which even if you eliminate the 55 games he hasn’t coached in his three years because of his back issue is still the best in NBA history – but to remind you that David Shaw still exists, he still is supervising the golden age of Stanford football, and he is just as unavailable to pro teams as he ever was.

Shaw, whose team opens its season on Saturday night in Australia against Rice, has been beneath the radar since the day he arrived, for no better reasons than (a) the Bay Area doesn’t hold much stock in college football and (b) he likes it that way. His excellence is indisputable, but he is also in the perfect place to do his job without any of the irritants that surround most college coaches – media, embittered alumni, NCAA investigators, the late night call from the cops about your outside linebacker overturning a minivan, that kind of thing.

He has worn down all attempts to question him on his next job because, while he could get one at the snap of a finger, he was not infected with the standard coach’s ambition to see and be seen. He has seen the sport’s many excesses and has decided to ward off the ones that directly touch him.

He still believes in the game’s virtues, and can probably be considered a fairly doctrinaire figure on most issues confronting the sport and its practitioners, but does not have to pretend that he is too focused on the job to be interested in mundane things like eclipses, political turmoil, social justice and all the other noxious things that happen outside the cocoon.

But be not fooled. He likes the cocoon that is Stanford, and he has the sense to understand that the chance of a better job existing is almost infinitesimal. He may someday want something more public and lucrative, but until money and fame get a long winning streak going at his house, he’ll sit quietly, the second-best coach in the Bay Area and the first-best at making you not remember that he is just that.