March 21, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - LMU fell down by as many as 16 and couldn't complete a late rally as they fall to Utah State in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament quarterfinals, 77-69, on Wednesday night in Logan, Utah.
The Aggies stretched a seven-point lead to as many as 16 in the second half and then held off a stiff LMU rally with free throws down the stretch. The Lions finish their best season since the Elite Eight campaign of 1989-90 at 21-13.
Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 23 points and Ashley Hamilton had 11. Preston Medlin had a game-high 26 points as Brockeith Pane added 17 and Morgan Grim 16. Utah State improves to 20-15.
"This is a tough place and you have to give them credit, they know how to use that," said Head Coach Max Good. "We got down double digits and just couldn't recover."
The game started with the teams trading baskets as the game featured eight lead changes and five times. Back-to-back lay-ups by Ashley Hamilton and Godwin Okonji gave the Lions a 15-14 lead with 11:46 to play.
However, an 8-0 run by the Aggies gave Utah State a 22-15 lead on a Medlin lay-up with 9:34 to go in the half. The Lions worked the lead down to one a pair of trips down the floor, the first on a jumper by C.J. Blackwell and they another lay-up by Hamilton, who led the Lions with nine first half points.
The Lions would then tie it at 26-26 on a free throw by Hamilton with 4:07 to play.
Utah State would keep the Lions off the scoreboard the rest the half, closing on a 7-0 run to take a 33-26 lead at the break. The Lions struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just 31.4 percent (11-35) while Utah State shot 40.7 percent (11-27).
Utah State started the second half shooting 55 percent as the lead grew to as many as 16, 54-38, with 11:31 to play.
The Lions weren't finished yet, going on a 20-8 run to cut the lead to four.
A Jarred DuBois three-pointer cut the lead to 11, 56-47 to play. A driving lay-up by DuBois, cut the lead to nine, 58-49, with 7:11 to play.
It would drop to six, 62-56, on a three-pointer by Drew Viney and a coast-to-coast lay-up by Bruce English with 3:36 to play. It would drop to four, 62-58, on another Irleand lay-up with just over three minutes to play.
"I was proud of how we never quit, never gave up," said Good. "We haven't used the zone press much, but we used it pretty well tonight. We just couldn't get it under four."
The lead would get no lower as free throws by the Aggies, who hit 32-for-35 (91.4 percent) free throws to just 7-for14 (50 percent) for the Lions, would help them pull away.
- GO LIONS -