Offense Never Arrives in San Francisco
Lions shoot just 28 percent and late rally not enough in San Francisco.
Jan. 19, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- When LMU got ready to go to their game against San Francisco, and the bus wouldn't start, it was a sign for things to come. The Lions caught shuttle vans to the game, but both offenses never truly showed up as they combined to shoot just 32 percent. But USF had a second half run and then held on for a 62-53 win on Saturday afternoon in West Coast Conference play.
LMU (8-11, 1-5) finished hitting just 28.8 percent (15-for-52) from the field while USF (8-11, 1-5) was just a tick better at 33.3 percent (18-for-54). In addition, the Lions hit just 2-for-20 from three (10 percent) while USF hit 7-for-24 (29.2 percent). The teams combined to have 27 turnovers, with USF holding a 22-4 edge in points off 14 LMU turnovers.
"I'd like to say that both teams played great defense, and that had everything to do with us struggling to score," said Head Coach Max Good. "Both teams played very hard, and I thought we played pretty well defensively, as did San Francisco. But we have struggled shooting all season, and it was the case again today."
Cole Dickerson led all scorers with 18 points while Anthony Ireland, despite just one shot in the first half, led the Lions with 13 points. Bruce English added 12 and eight rebounds, while Ayodeji Egbeyemi had 10.
The Lions hit a season-low five first half field goals, didn't have their first assist until 9:51 to play in the game, started 1-for-11 from three for the second straight game, and leading scorer Anthony Ireland had just one field goal attempt through 20 minutes.
Despite all that, the Lions found themselves in a position to come from behind.
An 8-0 run by the Dons pushed their lead to 14, 44-30, with 11:32 to play. At that point the Lions had no assists and just seven field goals.
The Lions struggles continued, so Good went to a three-guard line-up with English, Ireland and Taylor Walker and ran an offense they haven't played all season.
"We went to an offense we haven't played all year with three guards, and we had some success." said Good. "I don't like to play that way, but you do what you have to. They did a good job of fighting and finding a way to find a spark."
With 9:51 to play, the Lions got their first assist with the line-up and it sparked a 10-0 run that put them down just 44-40 after an Ireland jumper with 8:26 to play.
Defense sparked the run, as the Lions held leading scorer Cody Doolin to 1-for-10 from the field with just one assist for the game.
"We did a good job on Cody, he is a tough player and has hit tough shots for them," said Good. "But when you go 2-for-20 from three, that is tough to overcome."
Down six, the Lions got a miss on a front end of a one-and-one, but Mark Tollefsen grabbed the offensive rebound and scored to make it an eight-point game, 52-44.
"Really thought a key point in the game was that putback they had when we were making a run," said Good. "We out rebounded them for the game (43-38), but that was their 13th offensive rebound and it really hurt."
Ayodeji Egbeyemi hit the Lions second three-pointer to cut it to 52-47 with 3:26 to play and the lead would get to three, 55-52, on an English three-point play with 1:56 on the clock.
However, the Lions offense would disappear again and they would not get another field goal as USF hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.
LMU heads home to face rival Pepperdine on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Wells Fargo PCH Cup at 6 p.m.