Feb. 9, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. - Five players scored in double figures for the LMU men's basketball as they used a balanced attack to earn their sixth straight win on the road, 76-62, over the University of Portland in West Coast Conference action on Thursday night.
The Lions improve to 9-3 in the WCC, 6-0 on the road, and 16-9 overall with the win. It is the most wins in conference play for the Lions since winning their last nine in the 1990-91 season to finish 9-5.
"I am really proud of our guys tonight as this was a complete team effort," said Head Coach Max Good. "We got production from everyone in the line-up and they all stayed with what they are good at. We are a good team when we play like that."
Drew Viney led the Lions with 16 points, hitting three three-pointers and going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Anthony Ireland added 15 points and five assists. LaRon Armstead scored 13 points, all in the second half, while C.J. Blackwell scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Godwin Okonji completed the effort with 10 points and nine-rebounds.
Four players had double-digits for Portland, including 13 apiece for Tanner Riley and Ryan Nicholas.
After a defensive first half, the teams traded baskets in a fast paced start to the second half, including a 47-point effort by the Lions. After 60 points against USF last week, the Lions have scored 107 points in the last two second stanzas.
"I thought we came out very focused, in the second half especially," said God, whose Lions shot 51 percent for the game, 57 percent in the second half. Portland shot 42 percent. "And our rebounding was a bid difference tonight. In the first meeting it was pretty even, but tonight we were really tough. Godwin did a good job."
The Lions outrebounded Portland 33-23 and had a 14-2 edge in second chance points.
Blackwell made his first appearance in the game in the second half and his back-to-back three-pointers gave the Lions an 11-point lead, 47-36, with 13:56 to play.
But as they have done in both meetings, Portland would not go away. They would cut the lead to five, 48-43, on a Rodgers lay-in with 12:03 to play.
The lead would stay around a half dozen until the final minutes. Blackwell would give the Lions a nine-point lead, 54-45, with his third three-pointer with 10:47 to play. Then Portland would get it to five, 60-55, on a three-pointer by Tanner Riley with six minutes to play.
Ireland would answer right back with a three-pointer of his own, pushing it back to eight, 63-55. After a pair of Thomas van der Mars free throws, LaRon Armstead pushed the lead back to nine, 66-57, with a three-pointer of his own, the Lions 10th.
LMU would finally get the lead back to double digits on a pair of Ireland free throws in the one-an-one situation, as he hit both for a 70-60 lead with 1:05 to play. They would then push it to the final margin as Portland scored just two points the final 2:25.
The Lions will have their road record put to the ultimate test on Saturday when they head to Gonzaga to take on the Bulldogs at 5 p.m.
- GO LIONS -