Lions Trap Their Way to Win

Evan Payne had 27 points Thursday.

Feb. 27, 2014

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LOS ANGELES -- LMU men's basketball used an extended trap on Santa Clara's perimeter shooters in the second half, helping them to post a 75-71 win over Santa Clara in West Coast Conference action at Gersten Pavilion Thursday night.

LMU (12-17, 4-13 WCC) used the trap to force the Broncos (12-18, 5-12), who entered the game leading the WCC with just 9.7 turnovers, into 20 turnovers, helping them go on a 11-0 run in the front end of the second half. The Lions finished with a 23-15 edge in point off turnovers and held on down the stretch, hitting 23-for-28 from the free throw line.

"In the first half they really hurt us from three, so we decided to extend our trap to all three of their guards," said Head Coach Max Good. "We really did a good job with it and our defense was the key tonight. We really worked hard all week on playing solid man-to-man and they responded."

Evan Payne had his freshman record sixth 20-point game with a game-high 27, hitting 11-for-17 from the field, while Anthony Ireland was up to his usual ways against the Broncos, scoring 20 or more points for the fifth straight time against Santa Clara. He finished with 20 points. It was his 43rd 20-point game. Ireland, who has logged more minutes than any Lion in school history, played all 40 minutes for the third straight game.

Gabe Levin added 10 points as the Lions, who were down to just five scholarship players the final minute after C.J. Blackwell and Alex Osborne each fouled out.

Evan Roquemore scored 19 for the Broncos, while Brandon Clark had 17 and Jared Brownridge, who had 29 points in the first meeting, added 12.

The Broncos hit 6-for-14 from three in the first half to build a 34-30 lead at the half. After LMU tied the game at 34, Santa Clara extended it back to four, 38-34, with 17:35 to play.

LMU would then get rolling with their defense. They would score off of a steal on their next four possessions, helping them to that 11-0 run that was capped by an Alex Osborne put-back dunk, putting the Lions up 45-38 with 14:14 to play. Osborne finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Santa Clara would hit just 1-for-5 from three in the second half and finished 7-for-19 (36.8 percent). Santa Clara was 42.9 percent from the field overall while the Lions hit 45.5 percent, going just 2-for-9 from three.

"We have been really working hard on defense, playing with our feet and minds," said Head Coach Max Good. "With such a limited roster, we have been playing a lot of zone, but we felt with their shooters tonight, we had to be more aggressive in our man."

The lead would flow between four and eight for the next 10 minutes before the Lions pushed it to nine, 64-55, on an Ireland three-pointer with 3:37 to play.

A 6-0 run by the Broncos would make it 64-61 with 2:15 to play and they would get it two a pair, 71-69, on a lay-up by Clark with 29 seconds remaining. LMU would hit their last four free throws to ice the game.

The regular season will come to a close on Saturday when the Lions face San Francisco at 7 pm. It will be the final home game for seniors Ireland and Osborne.




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