LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Bo Kimble, honoring the memory of the late Hank Gathers, scored 14 of his 45 points in a 28-6 run that opened the second half and powered Loyola Marymount to a 111-92 rout of New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Lions, playing their first game 12 days after the sudden death of Gathers, used the emotional surge to snap a 46-46 halftime tie and cruise into Sunday's second round against defending NCAA champion Michigan.
Kimble, with his 7th 40-point game of the season, had 33 points in the second half and also contributed 18 rebounds.
Kimble, the nation's leading scorer and Gathers' best friend since their high-school days in Philadelphia, was tagged with his fourth foul with 4:45 left in the first half -- he had just 10 points at the time -- but never fouled out. The performance by the 6-5 guard tied the 11th highest scoring game in NCAA Tournament history.
Jeff Fryer added 23 points for Loyola, 24-5, which boosted its NCAA record of scoringat least 100 points to 26 times this season. Fryer had three three-pointers in the run that covered only 5:55 and made it 74-52.
No. 20 New Mexico State, making its first trip to the NCAAs since 1979 and still seeking its first tournament triumph since 1970, finished 26-5. Reggie Jordan led the Aggies with 22 points.
Kimble, who became the 16th player in major-college history to surpass 1,000 points in a season, nailed a three-pointer 63 seconds into the second-half to trigger the awesome spree.
As a tribute to Gathers -- who switched hands during the season to improve his free-throw accuracy -- Kimble took his first foul shot of the game left-handed. It found nothing but net, bringing a wild ovation and a 66-50 bulge.
Fryer's three-pointer basket with 14:05 left then made it 74-52 with 14:05 to go. New Mexico State never threatened again.
The Lions and their cheerleaders wore black '44' patches on their uniforms, and many players inked Gathers' number on the backs of their sneakers. A fan held high a banner that read, 'Hank's Here.'
Playing about 20 miles from their Los Angeles campus and with the support of a sellout crowd of 12,200 at Long Beach Arena, Loyola roared to an 13-3 lead while holding the Aggies without a field goal for the first four minutes.
Gathers' replacement, Chris Knight, perhaps fittingly scored the first basket.
But the Lions' adrenalin appeared to wane, and the Aggies used a 15-4 burst to take an 18-17 lead on Jason Trask's foul shot with 12:37 left in the first half.
Kimble picked up his third foul on that play, then was tagged with his fourth, for charging, with 4:45 to play in the half. He spent the rest of the period shuttling back and forth off the bench.
Kimble's baseline jumper with nine seconds left then forged a 46-46 halftime tie. It marked the Lions' lowest-scoring first half of the season.