Rivalry Heartbreaker

Anthony Ireland

Feb. 20, 2014

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LOS ANGELES -- The 160th meeting between LMU and Pepperdine produced yet another thriller as the Waves survived a late push by the Lions to earn a 72-69 win on Thursday at Gersten Pavilion.

LMU's Anthony Ireland scored 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting for his 42nd career 20-points game. Sophomore Stacy Davis had his 10th career 20-point game to score a game-high 27on 10-for-15 shooting. He added 12 rebounds. Two others joined Davis in double figures for the Waves (15-13, 8-8) as Maclcolm Brooks scored five key points late to finish with 15. Malte Kramer added 12.

Pepperdine finished hitting 50 percent from the field while the Lions shot 40.9 percent. Evan Payne was the only other Lion (11-17, 3-13) in double figures with 16.

"We battled hard and asked a lot of minutes with our guys and they played hard," said Head Coach Max Good. "We just don't have much off our bench right now. The last two games the bench points have been the difference."

Davis was a part of Pepperdine's 47-6 edge in points off the bench. The last two games the Lions have been outscored 76-8 off the bench. The Lions played just seven players with Ireland playing a full 40 minutes for the second straight game.

"We took care of the ball and really asked our guys to play intense defense for 40 minutes," said Good. "We just couldn't get over the hump late."

Riding the emotion of Spirit Week, the Lions jumped out to a fast start, taking a 14-4 lead on an Ireland jumper less than five minutes into the game. Payne's three-pointer with 13:57 on the clock kept the Lions rolling, taking an 18-9 lead.

Then Pepperdine rolled back.

A 20-2 run over nearly eight minutes turned the tide as they took a 29-20 lead on Davis' three-pointer with six minutes to play. The Waves' defense held the Lions to 1-for-12 shooting with four turnovers during the run.

Ireland's jumper would end the run, making it 29-22, with 4:45 to play in the half. The Lions scored the next five to make it 29-27 with 2:32 on the clock.

Pepperdine finished hitting 56 percent in the first half to LMU's 38.2 percent to lead 35-31.

With the first four points of the second half, the Lions gave the game its first tie at 35-35 after Ireland's jumper. Then Stover's free throw gave the Lions the lead 36-35.

Davis scored four straight points to give Pepperdine the lead right back before Payne's three-pointer tied it for the third time at 39-39. Another four-point burst gave the Waves another four-point lead, 43-39, with 15:21 to play. From there the Waves would hold the lead, never getting it above five as Ireland and the Lions answered each time.

However, the Lions never could get the equalizer cutting the lead to 52-50 on an Ireland three-pointer with 12:19 to play. From there the Waves finally built a second-half cushion, going on a 12-2 run to take a 64-52.

They would need every point of it as the Lions stormed back with a 12-2 run over their own as Levin's three-pointer made it 66-64 with 1:46 to play. Brooks hit the Waves' 10th three-pointer to pus the lead back to five, 69-64. Payne answered right back with a traditional three-point play to make it 69-67 with 1:05 to play.

After Davis went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, Ireland drove an empty lane to make it 70-69 with 25.7 left.

Brooks would hit a pair of free throws with 14.9 left to make it 72-69. Ireland's three-pointer in the corner was blocked by Lane with 0.5 left. CJ Blackwell's desperation three at the buzzer was off to the right.




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