Seasons-Best Give Lions Number Six
Men's basketball will head into WCC play with a six-game winning streak, thanks to an 81-73 victory over CSUB Sunday afternoon.
Jan. 3, 2010
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Five players scored in double figures, including a career-best 19 from Ashley Hamilton and a season-best 18 off the bench from LaRon Armstead, to defeat Cal State Bakersfield, 81-73, on Sunday afternoon in the final non-conference contest of the season at Rabobank Arena.
It is the Lions' sixth straight win, their longest streak since the 1995-96 season. They improve to 9-7 on the season and have won three straight on the road, the longest stretch since they won their last road game of 1994-95 and first two of that 95-96 campaign.
Hamilton finished the game 8-for-9 from the field, adding nine rebounds and two blocks. Armstead, who was forced into action early with LMU foul trouble, scored the most since his 20 against Mercer on Dec. 22, 2009. Junior Vernon Teel continues to flirt with triple doubles, going for 17 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, three blocks and four steals while playing all 40 minutes. Jarred DuBois added 13 and Drew Viney 12.
"As was we have established, I am never happy, but this was a very good win for us," said Head Coach Max Good. "I thought our defense was exceptional tonight and we were able to force them into bad shots for both halves."
The Lions held the Road Runners (2-11) to just 32.3 percent shooting and 27.3 percent shooting from long range. Both were the lowest by an LMU opponent on the season. Santwon Latunde led Cal State Bakersfield with 20 points and 21 rebounds.
"For us, LaRon was just big for off the bench," said Good. "He came to me several weeks ago asking that I don't let up on him. He doesn't have to worry about that. And if he keeps playing like that, he is going to be an important piece for us in conference play."
Cal State Bakersfield stayed with the Lions early as the game featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. The game went into the lockerroom tied at 40, thanks in large part to a 14-for-18 clip at the charity stripe for the Roadrunners. LMU was just 3-for-3.
"We got into foul trouble early, mainly because we weren't moving our feet well enough," said Good. "We did a much better job in the second half." LMU held CSUB to just 27 percent shooting in the second half.
Kevin Young's jumper to start the second half gave the Lions a 42-40 lead, the seventh and final lead change of the game. They would stretch the lead to 50-43 on an Armstead jumper with 16:36 to play.
Then after a charge drawn by Armstead, Teel would hit two free throws with 10:48 to play to give LMU a 10-point lead, 64-54. The lead would never drop below eight the rest of the way as the Lions hit just one field goal but went 13-for-14 at the charity stripe in the final eight minutes of the game. The Lions finished 20-for-24 from the charity stripe (83.3 percent) while CSUB went 25-for-33.
LMU heads into West Coast Conference play starting with another road game, this time at Pepperdine on Saturday, Jan. 9. It is a doubleheader with the women. The men will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. Both games can be heard live on KXLU 88.9 FM.