Fast Start, Fierce Rally Not Enough in Finale
Men's basketball jumps to quick start, uses full roster to attempt comeback but its not enough on Senior Day as they fall to BYU to end regular season.
March 2, 2013
LOS ANGELES - LMU men's basketball jumped out to a quick start on BYU, posted a spirited rally late despite foul trouble to an already thin roster, but it wasn't enough on Senior Day as the Cougars held on for a 73-70 win at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday.
It was fitting that the WCC's top-two scorers in BYU's Tyler Haws and LMU's Anthony Ireland would finish the game with 24 points each as BYU used the free throw line to fight off the Lions fierce rally late.
Ireland added five assists in 38 minutes while Haws went 14-for-14 from the free throw line, including six in the final minute. Senior Ashley Hamilton added 18 points and six rebounds for the Lions (8-22, 1-15), while Matt Carlino and Brandon Davies added 11 each for the Cougars (21-10, 10-6).
"I really like how we fought to the end. We got contribution from everyone on the roster. We haven't had that of late," said Head Coach Max Good. "We had a chance to beat a very good BYU team. This was a good performance for us heading into Vegas."
BYU wraps up the No. 3 seed in the upcoming 2013 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships. The Lions will start the tournament in the WCC Opening Game on Wednesday, March 6 against Portland at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on KXLU 88.9 FM and on BYUtv from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The Lions jumped out to a 16-10 lead on Hamilton's three-pointer six minutes into the game. The Lions hit their first five shots of the game riding the emotion of Senior Day. However, the Lions quick start wouldn't last as quick foul trouble restricted the Lions already thin bench.
Three players for the Lions fouled out and the Cougars hit 25-for-34 free throws. LMU was 13-for-19 from the charity stripe. LMU finished hitting 24 field goals to BYU's 21 as the Lions hit 38.7 percent from the field, including nine three poitners. BYU was 45.7 percent and hit 6-for-16 three-pointers, all coming at key moments.
"I thought our bench, especially Adam Drexler, were unsung heroes for us tonight," said Good. "He gave us two key charges and we scored on both of them."
After the fast start, LMU would go just 5-for-26 the rest of the half and finished hitting just 35.5 percent in the frame to trail 34-28 at the break. BYU looked to start pulling away, taking a 13-point lead with 14:16 to play on free throws by Cory Calvert.
LMU would not go away, as freshman Marin Mornar's three-pointer with 10:15 to play cut the lead to 45-39.
Back-to-back three-pointers by the Cougars, the first by Brock Zylsta with 9:09 on the clock and the other by Carlino a minute later put the lead back to double digits, stretching to as many as 15 with 5:49 to play.
The Lions would go to the press, go on an 10-2 run and get the lead down to seven, 62-55, on a three-pointer and leaner by Nick Stover, who had eight points off the bench.
However, another timely three-pointer by Haws ended the run, making it 65-55. Stover would answer right back to put the lead right back to seven, 65-58. Haws hit two free throws and Adam Drexler hit a lay-in as the lead continued to stay around seven, 67-60.
They would finally crack below that with a three-pointer by Ireland with just five seconds left, cutting it to 71-67. Haws hit the free throws and Ireland drilled another three at the buzzer for the final margin.
NOTES: Ireland moves his career total to 1,506, 10th all-time at LMU. His season total 618, the 15th player in LMU history to score at least 600 points in a season. He now ranks 13th.