Lions Defeat No. 16 Saint Mary's on the Road
Men's basketball knocks-off third ranked team on the season, defeating No. 16 Saint Mary's 75-60.
Feb. 15, 2012
MORAGA, Calif. - The road warriors came through again, as LMU defeated 16th-ranked Saint Mary's, 75-60, at McKeon Pavilion Wednesday night in Moraga, Calif. The Lions improve to 7-1 on the road in West Coast Conference action, giving the Gaels their first loss at home in 17 tried.
"We won this game defensively," said Head Coach Max Good. "We did a great job on their guards, and really kept fighting the entire night. And it was another team win for us. They played very well as a group tonight. The entire team contributed to this win."
Drew Viney led the Lions with 17 points, followed by Anthony Ireland with 16, Jarred DuBois with 15 and Ashley Hamilton with 11. Rob Jones led all scorers with 25 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn't enough down the stretch.
LMU held the Gaels to its second lowest shooting effort in conference play at just 38.6 percent, limiting them to 21.4 percent from three, its lowest in conference play and second lowest on the season.
The Lions defeat their third ranked opponent on the season in five chances and go to 10-4 in the WCC, the most wins in conference play since the Elite Eight team in 1989-90. They improve to 17-10 overall, 9-3 on the road. Saint Mary's falls to 12-2 in the WCC and 23-4 overall.
LMU held Saint Mary's to just 1-for-13 from the three-point line, including 0-for-5 from Clint Steindl, in the second half. He hit 4-for-6 from three in the first half for all 12 of his points. The Lions finished hitting 47.2 percent, including a 7-for-15 clip (46.7 percent) from three.
The Lions led by five at the half, 34-29, but saw leading scorer Matthew Dellavedova score four straight points as the Gaels took a 35-34 lead.
It would be their last, as Dellavedova was held to just 10 on the night.
LMU rattled off six straight points - a jumper by Hamilton, a lay-in by Viney and a jumper by C.J. Blackwell - to take a 40-35 lead with 14:34 to play.
"That opening stretch was key," said Good. "They jumped out quick, as we knew they would. But our guys, as they have done all season on the road, didn't stop fighting and really did a good job of staying composed."
After a jumper by Jones, the Lions rattled off a 7-0 run to go up 10, 47-37, capped by an offensive rebound dunk by Viney.
The Gaels got the lead down to six, 56-50, on a three-pointer by Jones with 5:58 to play.
However, a pair of free throws by Viney capped an 8-3 run that gave LMU an 11-point lead, 64-53, with 4:05 to play. Then up 12, Viney drove the baseline and put an exclamation point on the game with a one-handed dunk for a 71-57 lead with 2:02 to play.
DuBois' free throws with 1:36 to play gave the Lions its largest lead of the game at 16 as Saint Mary's scored just one field goal the final three minutes.
The Lions led by as many as 10 points, 30-20, in the first half, thanks in large part to 5-for-10 shooting from three, including a pair from DuBois and Ireland. The Gaels would come roaring back with a 9-2 run, thanks to the three ball from Steindl, who hit four of the Gaels' five from long range.
Steindl finished the half 4-for-6 from three, but the rest of the Gaels went 1-for-9. The Lions would end the half on a perfect pass from Ireland to Tim Diederichs, who gave the Lions a 34-29 lead at the break.
There will be no rest for the Lions as they end a four-game in nine-day stint with the Sears BracketBusters game at Gersten Pavilion on Friday against Valparaiso. Game time is set for 6 p.m., with the ASLMU Centennial Pregame Tailgate at 4 p.m.