And, Yet Again.
It has become a nasty trend, for the third time in three weeks the Lions fall at the buzzer.
Feb. 23, 2013
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The heartbreakers just keep coming for LMU men's basketball. This time it was Cal Poly's home court and a three-pointer by Dylan Royer with 0.7 seconds left that handed LMU a 63-60 heartbreaker at Mott Athletics Center Saturday night in the ESPN BracketBuster. It was the Lions' second straight buzzer-beater setback and third since Feb. 4.
"I am not sure I have seen anything like this," said Head Coach Max Good. "We played so much better offensively, did a good job on them from the three-point line and on the final play our defender slips on the only guy who hit a three all night. Just heartbreaking."
LMU held the lead for most of the second half, leading by as many as seven several times. Bruce English gave the Lions a 57-52 lead with 4:29 to play. Cal Poly crept back with a 5-0 run over the next two minutes and tied the game at 57-57 on free throws.
LMU responded and took a 60-57 lead on Chase Flint's three-pointer with 1:47 to play. The Mustangs tied it on the next possession on Chris Eversley's traditional three-point play with just over a minute to play.
The Lions couldn't capitalize despite getting an offensive rebound and Cal Poly got the ball back with just over 20 seconds to play.
The Lions had a defensive stop, but the ball was deflected by the Lions out of bounds with 2.7 left under the basket. Royer came off a curl and Walker slipped on the Mott floor, leaving Royer wide open.
Ireland had a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer but it was off the mark. Cal Poly improves to 11-1 at home.
"They are very good at home and have defeated all sorts of good teams on this floor," said Good. "We had a chance to get a big road win and we didn't get it done. To say this is tough is an understatement."
Brian Bennett led all scores with 23 points, going 9-for-11 from the field for the Mustangs (13-12). Eversley had 13 and Royer 12. Anthony Ireland led the Lions (8-20) with 19, scoring 16 in the first half. Taylor Walker had a career best 12 points and Alex Osborne had 11.
Cal Poly was 1-for-17 from the three on the night before the final shot. They finished 11 percent from long range but went 47.8 percent overall and hit 17-for-20 from the charity stripe. The Lions had their best shooting night in in two months, hitting 51.2 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. The Mustangs outscored the Lions 26-12 in the paint and 19-8 in points off turnovers.
The Lions travel to Santa Clara on Thursday, Feb. 28 for the first of the final two games of West Coast Conference play. Game time is set for 8 p.m.