Sluggish Start Hurts Lions

Nick Stover

Jan. 2, 2014

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The series between LMU and San Francisco has gone to the wire in each of the last 11 meetings. The Dons made sure that wouldn't happen in the 12th meeting, jumping out to an early double-digit lead that they would never let go of, earning a 75-61 win at War Memorial Gymnasium Thursday night.

Senior Anthony Ireland led the Lions (10-5, 2-1), who had won four straight, with 18 points, hitting 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Cole Dickerson led all scorers with 20 points, hitting 3-for-5 from the three-point line for the Dons (9-5, 2-1).

Nick Stover added 15 points for the Lions, while Evan Payne had 11. Matt Glover added a double-double for USF with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Avery Holmes had 16.

The Lions dug themselves a big hole, falling down 27-9, struggling to get anything going. They committed seven early turnovers leading to an 11-2 edge for the Dons, helping USF start better than 60 percent from the field in building the 18-point lead with 9:41 to play.

The USF lead would get to as many as 19 as the Lions finished hitting just 28.6 (6-for-21) from the field while USF went 51.5 (17-for-33) percent, including 5-for-11 from three (45.5 percent). USF finished the half with a 16-6 edge in points off turnovers, forcing the Lions into nine in the half. USF led 40-23 at the break.

"We were very passive to start and really let them take it to us," said Head Coach Max Good. "And once we got down, we never could recover. Give them credit, they really came out and jumped on us."

The Lions would get the lead down to 12 and looked to have a chance to get it to 10, but Ireland couldn't capitalize on a breakaway and Chris Adams hit his third three-pointer to make it 50-35 wit 13:29 to play. LMU would get no closer.

USF finished hitting eight three pointers (8-for-18, 44.4 percent) with the Lions hitting just three (3-for-13, 23.1 percent).

LMU was just 37.5 percent from the field (18-for-48), while USF finished 48.1 percent (25-for-52). The Lions, who entered the week ranked ninth in the NCAA in free throw percentage, continued that trend, hitting 22-for-26, good for 84.6 percent. USF was 17-for-28 (60.7 percent).

"We just weren't very good tonight," said Good. "We had just 16 turnovers all of last weekend and turned it over 13 tonight. We have been very good on the rebounds this season and we did a poor job on that tonight. The thing about this league is you have very little time to wait to learn from it and correct your mistakes. We have to pull together and turn around and get better on Saturday."

LMU continues their four-game road swing with Santa Clara on Saturday at 3 pm. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Net and on Comcast SportsNet. Listen to the game on KXLU 88.9 FM.




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