Another Tough Setback in a Rivalry Classic
Men's basketball falls at the wire on the road to Pepperdine.
Jan. 22, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - It was a game worthy of teams playing each other for the 153rd time in the PCH Cup rivalry between LMU and Pepperdine. The game featured 24 lead changes, 15 ties and went down to the wire. However, the Lions' bad luck in Firestone Fieldhouse continued as Loren Jackson's three free throws with 12.6 seconds left gave Pepperdine a 78-75 win in Malibu, Calif., Saturday night.
Drew Viney's three-pointer with 51 seconds to play gave the Lions a 75-73. However, Jackson was fouled on a three-point attempt and hit all three free throws to give the Waves a 76-75 lead. After a charge called on Vernon Teel, Keion Bell hit both free throws with four seconds left and Anthony Ireland's three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Waves would finish a perfect 14-for-14 from the charity stripe to improve to 8-14 overall and 2-3 in the WCC. The Lions' horrors at Firestone continue as they fell for the 13th straight year in Malibu and fall to 8-11 overall and 1-4 in the WCC.
"We had an opportunity to get a win on their floor and we didn't get it done down the stretch," said Head Coach Max Good. "We took a four-point lead late and we couldn't close and then we made some bad decisions in the final seconds. Just like Portland last week, we had a chance to earn a huge road win and we didn't get it done."
Ashley Hamilton had a season-high 19 points to lead the Lions, hitting 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe while adding six rebounds. Viney added 17 points and six boards, while Teel scored 13 points to reach 1,000 in his career, the 30th player in LMU history to earn the milestone.
Jackson led all scorers with 24 while Keion Beel scored 22 and Mychel Thompson added 11 points and eight rebounds. The Waves became the first conference foe to outrebound the Lions this season, 33-32.
It was back-and-forth since the Lions erased the Waves early seven-point lead in the first half. It looked to be a shootout as the teams were hitting a combined 60 percent in the second half with less than seven minutes left.
"We didn't play good defense at all in the first half, and it put us in some-what of a come-back mode," said Good.
However, the defenses tightened up and the Lions held the Waves to just one field goal in the final 6:22 of the game while LMU had just two in the final 6:52.
The Lions would take a 70-68 lead on Teel's 1,000th career-point and Hamilton's two free throws with 2:15 to play gave LMU their largest lead of the game, 72-68. The Waves did stay down long, as Bell hit his third three-pointer of the half and fourth of the game to cut the lead to 72-71.
The lead would change for the 22nd time on the night on a pair of Thompson free throws with 1:07 to play, giving the Waves a 73-72 lead to set-up the final 51 seconds.
Pepperdine finished the game shooting 28-for-60 from the field (46.7 percent), but hit 8-for-15 from the three-point line (53.3 percent). The Lions finished 28-for-57 (49.1 percent) and hit 5-for-15 from the three-point line.
LMU will host Homecoming Week, starting with San Francisco on Jan. 27. The Dons enter the game the hottest team in the WCC, sitting alone in second place at 4-1 after sweeping Portland and Gonzaga on the weekend. Game time is set for 7 p.m., and can be seen on campus on the Roar Network and heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.