Team Defense Gets 2-0 Start
Men's basketball uses second half pressure to open up tight game for 98-89 win over South Dakota State.
Nov. 9, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Behind another complete team effort, LMU men's basketball used a second half run sparked by their defense to earn an impressive 98-89 win over South Dakota State, who returned four starters from their two-time NCAA tournament teams in 2012 and 2013. The Lions open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2004-05.
Three Lions reached 20 points on the night, led by sophomore Ben Dickinson with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Senior Anthony Ireland and freshman Gabe Levin added 20 each as the Lions finished the game shooting 57.6 percent from the field. Ireland went for his fifth double-double of his career, adding a career-best 12 assists.
It was the Lions best shooting night from the field against a NCAA Division I opponent since hitting 59.3 percent against Seattle on Dec. 27, 2009. The Lions hit 57.7 percent against Pacifica in the opener last season. LMU's defense held the Jackrabbits to 41.8 percent from the field. Jordan Dystra led South Dakota State (0-2) with 22 points, hitting 11-for-12 from the free throw line while adding 11 rebounds.
"That was a complete team effort. Our young players really stayed composed and really took big steps tonight, and our seniors really continue to show great leadership," said Head Coach Max Good. "South Dakota State is a very good team and I was very happy with our performance tonight."
The Lions forced the Jackrabbits into 21 turnovers on 12 steals and used a pressure defense to pull away. Holding onto a two-point lead, 61-59 with 14:09 to play, the Lions went on a 12-1 run in a span of just under four minutes to take a 73-60 lead with 10:26 left. The lead never dropped below nine the rest of the way.
The Lions needed all 11 of their scholarship players in uniform as they were called for 37 fouls, equalling the program record set on Feb. 9, 2001 against Nevada. South Dakota State finished 37-for-50 (74.0 percent) from the free throw line. The 37 made free throws equals an opponent's record against the Lions as Santa Clara hit 37 on Feb. 24, 2011. No Lion actually fouled out of the game.