Feb. 18, 2010
Box Score |
Coach Good Audio Quotes
Audio Highlights from the LMU Podcast Center
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Playing with a full line-up for the first time in nearly two months, the LMU men's basketball team got healthy in a hurry with a 74-66 win over West Coast Conference leader and top-10 Gonzaga in front of 3,770 at Gersten Pavilion on Thursday night.
It was yet another statement win for the Lions, who improve to 14-13 overall and 5-6 in the WCC. Gonzaga, who entered the game ranked 13th by the Associated Press and 9th by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, falls to 21-5 and 9-2 in league play.
It was the first win over a ranked opponent since March 23, 1990 when the Lions beat No. 23 Alabama 62-60 in the NCAA West Regional on March 23, 1990. It snaps a 35-game skid against ranked teams for the Lions.
"We are finally getting healthy and we were able to play aggressive man the whole night and come up with a statement win," said Head Coach Max Good, whose Lions defeated Notre Dame and USC on the road in non-conference play. "Last game we had two guards. Tonight we had four and they were huge."
In the first meeting against Gonzaga on Jan. 23, the Lions played without Ashley Hamilton, Jarred DuBois and Larry Davis. In the win, all three were among five players in double figures, as the trio combined for 39 points.
Hamilton led all scorers with 17 points, adding six rebounds and three blocks. Drew Viney added 16 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Davis added 12, Kevin Young 11 and DuBois 10.
Elias Harris led the Zags with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Demetri Goodson and Steven Gray added 11 while Matt Bouldin had 10.
"Having those three back in the line-up clearly is big for us," said Good. "We are a pretty good team when we are healthy."
Defense was the key as the Lions erased a 10-point first-half deficit by holding the Zags to just 34.4 percent shooting in the game and just 25.9 percent in the second half. The Lions shot 46.6 percent for the game, hitting 6-for-12 from the three-point line. It was the Bulldogs lowest shooting percentage since Duke on Dec. 19 when they shot 27.8 percent.
"Defensively we played pretty well," said Good. "A big difference was Ashley's ability to neutralize their big guys. That was a big difference. Being able to really play aggressive man-to-man most the game really helped us push the entire game."
The Lions trailed 22-12 with 13:09 to play but cut the lead to three, 39-36, on a pair of free throws from Davis to close the first half. Gonzaga then hit the first bucket of the half to take a five-point lead, 41-36.
LMU used a 14-5 run to take their first lead since 17:23 to play in the first half, taking a five-point lead on Davis' lay-up on a pass from Young with 13:20 to play. The Lions would not trail again.
The Zags would cut the lead to a pair, 52-50, on Harris' three-pointer with 10:15 to play. LMU answered with another run, this one 10-3, to take a nine-point lead, 62-53, with 7:01 to play.
With the score at 62-56, Hamilton would score four straight points to push the lead to 10, 66-56.
Gonzaga did not go away, cutting the lead to four, 68-64, on a Goodson lay-up with 1:20 to play.
On LMU's next possession, the play clock was milked to one second and the Lions had to inbound the ball. Teel spotted Davis streaking to the hoop and he hit the running lay-in to stretch the lead to six, 70-64, with 43 seconds to play.
"That play by Larry and Vernon at the end with the shot clock at one was huge," said Good. "That play was not scripted, they did that simply with eye contact. It was supposed to hit Drew off a triple screen, but they did a great job of finding the right shot."
Gonzaga cut the lead to four one more time on Bouldin's lay-in but Viney and Teel combined to hit four straight free throws to ice it.
The Lions will play their final home game when they host Portland on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
- GO LIONS -