Lion-Hearted Record In Near Upset
Men's basketball gave Eighth-Ranked Notre Dame all they could handle in front of school record 4,534.
Nov. 21, 2008
Los Angeles, CA - Playing without their head coach, leading scorer and their top returning starter, Loyola Marymount relied on their defense and gave eighth-ranked Notre Dame all they could handle in front of a sellout and record-setting crowd of 4,534. However, the Irish (2-0) gutted out a tight 65-54 win over a young but gritty Lion (0-4) squad who finished the game with just eight scholarship players.
Freshmen Jarred DuBois and Ashley Hamilton both scored in double figures and set career highs with 16 and 10 points, respectively. Against a larger Fightin' Irish team, freshman Kevin Young, despite being riddled with foul trouble throughout the second half, led the team with a career-high 10 rebounds.
However, it was DuBois' defense that turned heads. The freshman held one of the best three-point shooters in the country, first-team All-Big East performer Kyle McAlarney, with zero points in 36 miniutes.
"Tonight you might have witnessed one of the greatest defensive performances ever in this arena," said Assistant Coach Max Good, who filled in for Head Coach Bill Bayno. The first-year head coach missed the week of practice and the game due to illness. "Jarred DuBois, a true freshman, took head-on one of the top rated three-point shooters in the college game and held him scoreless."
On the other side, preseason All-American Luke Harangody lived up to his billing as he carried the Irish with 27 points and 17 rebounds, his second double-double in as many games this season. As a team, the Irish were able to outrebound 44-35, a major reason why they pulled away to victory,
"We will take it," said Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey. "With this atmosphere and the way this team is coached by Bayno and his staff, we knew we were going to have to work to get out of here with a win. We never could get into a flow offensively."
The Lions held Notre Dame to just 33 percent shooting in the second half and 40 percent for the game to stay in it. The Irish hit just 4-for-15 from long range, good for 26,7 percent. LMU finished 33 percent for the game from the field but went 8-for-18 from the three-point line.
Sophomore Vernon Teel, who led the team in points and rebounds the first three games of the year played limited minutes and was forced to leave the game for good toward the end of the first half due to a foot injury. He scored four points before leaving the game. Sophomore Tim Diederichs, who started every game last year, did not play due to a injured shoulder. It was the first game he missed.
Where the Lions struggled was on the boards against a much larger Notre Dame team. They forced missed shots on the first opportunity, but then gave the Irish second chances as Notre Dame pulled down 15 offensive rebounds. Harangody had five of them, most of which he converted into scores
LMU never led in the game, but their best chance came when they had the ball down 24-23. They could not convert and Harangody had an offensive putback on the other end to stretch the lead to three before Dubois hit a three-pointer to tie it. On the next possession Tory Jackson, the team's point guard was able to get an offensive rebound and put it back to retake the lead.
The Lions shortened Notre Dame's lead to three points twice in the second half. The first time was right out of the break as DuBois hit a three-pointer. From there the Irish stretched the lead to six and kept it between six and eight for much of the half.
Notre Dame was able to keep the lead as the second half turned into a march to the free throw line for the Irish. They shot 22 second half free throws as the Lions fouled them into the bonus with just over 13 minutes left in the half.
While the young Lions showed they were ready to play against the best, it was a senior who almost brought the roof off Gersten. With LMU down by nine, 50-41, Counts hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to get the Lions within three points.
The Lions will travel to Wagner for a game on Monday at 4 p.m. (PT) The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com.