Rally Can't Overcome Cold Shooting
Lions close game on 9-1 run but can't get final basket as they fall to Waves.
Jan. 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- LMU used the press to fight back from a late 11-point deficit, but could not get the tying hoop in the final two minutes as they fell to Pepperdine, 60-57, in West Coast Conference action on Thursday night.
LMU had four players in double figures, including 14 from Anthony Ireland. Ayodeji Egbeyemi had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Ashley Hamilton and Alex Osborne had 10 each. Pepperdine's Jordan Baker equalled a career-best with 21 points and Lorne Jackson added 13 for the Waves (10-9, 2-4).
However, the Lions (8-12, 1-6) shooting woes continued during their four-game skid, hitting just 31.8 percent in the second half and 36 percent in the game. For the third straight game the Lions started the game 1-for-11 from three or worse and finished just 4-for-25 from long range (16 percent). Ireland went just 4-for-18 from the field, 2-of-14 from long range but went perfect from the charity stripe for the fourth straight game.
"We continue to struggle from the field," said Head Coach Max Good. "They went to the zone and until we start to hit shots, we are going to see a lot more of that. We just can't hit shots."
The Waves hit 45.8 percent and just 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from the free throw line as the Lions fought back down the stretch only to see the game go pointless in the final 2:21 of the game.
LMU used defense to fight back, holding a 25-16 edge in points off turnovers, forcing the the Waves to 17 turnovers on a season-best 12 steals. Osborne had four of them.
"We were much more aggressive defensively and we took care of the ball," said Good. The Lions had 13 more shot attempts than the Waves but both finished with 22 makes. "It gave us extra opportunities, but we couldn't capitalize as we once again couldn't hit shots."
The Lions' only three-pointer in their first 13 attempts - Egbeyemi from the left corner - gave the Lions a 29-22 lead with 5:34 to play in the first half. However, the Waves closed the half on a 15-4 run to lead 37-33 at the break.
LMU would chip away and the Lions' second three-pointer in 15 attempts - this one by Ireland at the top of the key - tied the game at 43-43 with 14:41 left.
However, another Pepperdine run - this one 6-0 - and cold LMU shooting saw the Waves go back up six. 49-43. Ireland would hit his second three-pointer to make it 49-46, with 11:32 to play.
However, thanks to seven straight misses from the field by the Lions, the Waves would extend the lead to 11, 59-48, with 5:06 to play.
LMU's press would get them back in it thanks to a 9-0 run, making it 59-57 on an Egbeyemi steal and lay-in with 2:41 to play. After one of two free throws from the Waves made it 60-57 with 2:21 to play, that would be it for both teams.
Pepperdine would get a loose ball tie-up and earn the jump ball with under two minutes to play and then would have a minute possession. They got an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and then another on a missed lay-in would run the clock to under a minute.
The Lions would get a steal. but didn't capitalize. Another Pepperdine missed free throw gave the Lions another shot to tie the game with under 26 seconds left. However, Ireland missed a contested three from the top of the key as the Waves ran out the clock on the offensive rebound.
LMU continues their three-game home stand when they host No. 10 Gonzaga on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. The game will be on ESPN2 and on KXLU 88.9 FM.
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