A Tale of Two Halves Hurts Lions
After a huge end to the first half, the Lions can't stop Pilots in second half to fall at home Saturday.
Jan. 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES. -- It was a tale of two halves as LMU's first half push couldn't match the second half push of Portland, as the Pilots erased an 11-point halftime deficit to earn a 68-64 win at Gersten Pavilion Saturday night.
The Pilots (8-10, 1-2), who entered the game shooting just 30 percent in two conference games, shot 54.7 percent from the field, including a 64.5 percent clip in the second half to come back for the win. The Lions (8-9, 1-3) finished shooting just 37.8 percent, hitting 32 percent in the second half.
Portland out rebounded the Lions by 24, 43-19, and outscored the Lions 36-16 in the paint. LMU turned the ball over just five times and forced 17 turnovers but could not over come the Pilots' shooting. Portland made 29 field goals, 20 in the second half, compared to just 20 on the game for the Lions.
Anthony Ireland led all scorers with 22 points, while Ashley Hamilton had 17 and Bruce English tallied 11. Ryan Nicholas paced Portland with 17 points and 13 rebounds, scoring 10 points in the final 10 minutes to pace the comeback.
"We played for about 15 minutes there are the end of the first half and thought that was enough," said Head Coach Max Good. "Give Portland a lot of credit. They ran their system and we couldn't stop it. We did not follow what we needed to do and they did."
The Lions found themselves in yet another early deficit, trailing by nine, 21-12, with 6:10 to play. However, the Lions would hold Portland without a point the rest of the half, tied the game within a minute and closed the first frame on a 19-0 run to take a 31-21 lead at the break.
LMU forced the Pilots into 10 first half turnovers, earning a 12-3 edge in points off turnovers to spark the run. English had six of the Lions first nine points in the run to tie the game while Alex Osborne had three of the Lions' four steals.
Portland would end the run with the first possession of the second half, kick starting a 20-9 run to start the frame to retake the lead.
"We hold them to 21 points in the first half and then turn around and allow to score 47 in the second half, out rebound us by more than a bunch," said Good. "Not gone win doing that."
It started with an 8-0 run. Bailey cut it to three with a jumper in the lane, 36-33, with 16:31 to play. A Hamilton dunk on a Portland turnover ended the run.
Then with a 6-0 run the Pilots would take the lead. Nicholas cut the lead to one, 40-39, with 13:11 to play and Oskars Reinfelds gave the Pilots the lead, 41-40 at 12:46 off an LMU turnover.
A Godwin Okonji putback gave the Lions the lead back, 42-41, as the game would go back-and-forth from there.
After a free throw from Hamilton gave the Lions a 49-48 lead, the hot shooting by the Pilots finally gave them a cushion they wouldn't let go of.
A Bailey three-point play gave Portland a 51-49 lead with 8:38 to play and it proved to be the game winner. Rodgers would score on a lay-in to stretch the lead to 53-49.
Ireland would hit his fourth three-pointer with 5:52 to play to cut the lead to 57-56. However, back-to-back three pointers by the Pilots gave them a 63-58 lead with 3:44 to play.
The Lions could not get closer than three the rest of the way as the Pilots finished 20-for-31 from the field in the second half in scoring 47 second half points.
The Lions head to San Diego on Wednesday, Jan. 16 to take on the Toreros at 7 p.m. The game will be on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.