Lions Snatch A Win In Another Thriller
Men's basketball erases five-point deficit in final minute to literally rebound a win over Long Beach State, 74-73
Nov. 14, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- Down by as many as seven throughout the second half, LMU used its full court press and a dominating performance on the glass to earn a 74-73 come-from-behind victory in yet another thriller against Long Beach State at the Pyramid Thursday night.
Trailing by five with just over a minute to play, the Lions would take possession and pretty much not give the ball back, setting up a pair of Anthony Ireland free throws with 4.9 remaining to complete the comeback. The Lions improve to 3-0 to start the season, its best start since 2003-04.
"I am really happy with our gutty effort tonight," said Head Coach Max Good. "We didn't stop for a second tonight and I hate to use this phrase, but we snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat. I am so proud at how hard we competed for 40 minutes."
Freshman Evan Payne had 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half as he fueled the Lions' rally. Ireland and Ben Dickinson added 14 points and freshman Gabe Levin added 12 points. The Lions shot just 37.7 percent, including just 2-for-21 from the three-point line. Long Beach State (1-2), who shot 51.9 percent from the field, was led by Mike Caffey with 23 points.
However, it was the battle on the glass that turned the tide. LMU out rebounded Long Beach State 45-30 and used five of their 19 offensive rebounds in the final minute to get the win.
"I am really happy with how we rebounded," said Good. "For us to shoot just 2-for-21 from three and get the win, I'll take it. We made gutty play after gutty play."
Trailing by five after a Caffey lay-up with 1:04 to play, freshman Evan Payne drove the floor and earned his fourth and-one opportunity of the game with 53.7 left. The bucket cut the lead to 73-70 but he would miss the free throw. Freshman Gabe Levin grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Lions the possession.
After a timeout with 46.5 left, Payne missed a three-pointer but Chase Flint grabbed the offensive rebounds. Ireland then missed with 16 seconds left but he would grab his own miss to keep possession yet again. After a timeout with 11 seconds left, the Lions ran a play for Levin who went in for a dunk. It was altered at the basket and lipped out.
But yet again the Lions found the rebound. This time it was Dickinson, whose outback cut the lead to 73-72 with seven seconds left.
LMU, who had pressed most of the game, pressured Caffey along the sideline and forced him to step on the line for the turnover. Ireland would take the inbound and was fouled by Caffey at about the same spot with 4.9 left. Ireland, who ranked fourth in the WCC last season with an 82.3 free throw percentage, drained both free throws for the 74-73 lead.
The Lions forced a poor pass on the inbound and it would go out of bounds on a tip by Dickinson with 0.4 seconds left. McKay LaSalle's three-pointer at the buzzer was long.
This is the fourth straight meeting between the Lions and 49ers to go down to the final possession, including a pair of overtime games. The Lions are 3-1 against the 49ers under Good and won for just the third time at Long Beach in 15 tries.
LMU will play its home opener on Sunday, Nov. 17 when they host Northern Arizona at Gersten Pavilion. Game time is set for 4 pm. It is Alumni Family Day and Alums can still take advantage of a special $10 ticket anywhere in Gersten Pavilion. Visit LMULions.com/Tickets to purchase now.