Ireland's 34 Not Enough in Overtime

Anthony Ireland had 34 points Saturday.

Jan. 4, 2014

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Anthony Ireland has been a thorn in the side of the Santa Clara Broncos in his three-plus seasons and he nearly led a rally to add to his resume, scoring 27 of his career-high 34 points in the second half.

He hit a jumper with 12 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. However, Santa Clara scored the first seven points of overtime to claim an 86-81 win in West Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.

Ireland, who moved his career point total to 1,882, finished 12-for-22 from the field, 10-for-12 from the free throw line while adding seven assists. It is the seventh time in nine meetings he has hit 20-plus against Santa Clara. Jared Brownridge led Santa Clara with 29, scoring five of the first seven Bronco points in overtime.

The Lions (10-6, 2-2) finished 0-for-7 from the three-point line while Santa Clara (9-8, 2-2) went 10-for-25, four from Brownridge. It was just the third time since the three-point line was added the Lions have gone without a long ball. LMU finished 49.3 percent from the field overall while Santa Clara was 41.3 percent.

Ben Dickinson added 12 points for the Lions, while Evan Payne and CJ Blackwell each added 10. Brandon Clark had 26 points and Evan Roquemore added 10.

"Our game plan was to really work the ball inside and get the best look at the basket," said Head Coach Max Good. "We did that for stretches, we gave them just enough daylight on some possessions they made us pay."

A 6-0 run with 10:11 to play by Santa Clara would put the Broncos up seven, 53-46, the largest of the game by either team. Blackwell would score back-to-back buckets with 4:58 to play to make it 60-58 in favor of Santa Clara.

The Lions would finally tie the game, 64-64, when Ireland capitalized on the breakaway resulted from a Marin Mornar block with 2:57 to play.

Santa Clara would take the lead three times from three only to have LMU tie it on the next possession. Ireland did it with free throws with 2:20 and then against with a jumper with 1:38 to play.

With 29 seconds to play, Clark hit two of his 11 free throws to give the Broncos a 70-68 lead. Ireland would answer yet again with the jumper at 12 seconds left.

"Anthony showed why he is so special," said Good. "He personally kept us fighting. I was proud how we fought the entire game. That was a tough one."

Evan Roquemore's three at the buzzer was blocked by Gabe Levin, sending the game to overtime.

Brownridge would hit a three, followed by Clark free throws and then a Brownridge runner with 2:46 left for the quick 77-70 lead.

Ireland and LMU would not go away as his three-point play with 14.3 left cut the lead to 82-80. However, Santa Clara would drain its free throws to ice it.

The Broncos finished 24-for-27 from the free-throw line while the Lions, who entered the day ranked fourth in the nation in free throw percentage at 77.2 percent, went 13-for-19 (68.4 percent).

LMU continues a four-game road swing in WCC play when they head to San Diego on Thursday, Jan 9 at 7 pm.




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