Ireland Leads Overtime Winner
Men's basketball earns 79-76 overtime win at Idaho State behind Ireland's 25 points.
Nov. 23, 2011
POCATELLO, Idaho - Sophomore Anthony Ireland scored 25 points to lead LMU (2-2) to a 79-76 win in overtime over Idaho State (1-3) at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho, on Tuesday night. Ireland scored the Lions' final six points in a game that featured 11 ties and 25 lead changes, 17 in the second half alone.
Ireland led all scorers by hitting 10-for-21 from the field, adding four assists, four rebounds and four steals. Godwin Okonji added a career-high 14 points with seven rebounds, while Jarred DuBois added 12 points for the Lions.
It was a two-man show of the Bengals, who made a living at the three-point line, going 12-for-28 from long range. Doing most of the damage was Melvin Morgan and Chase Grabau, who scored 24 and 22 points, respectively. They combined to hit 10-for-16 from long range, including six from Morgan.
"This was a grind it out win," said Head Coach Max Good. "I was really proud how we didn't give up at any point. We kept fighting. Our defense down the stretch was very solid and give credit to Ireland, he really shutdown Morgan, keeping him from even touching the ball down the stretch. Our defense really pulled this one out."
The Lions trailed by four, 74-70, after a three-pointer and free throw on separate possessions by Morgan with 1:58 to play in overtime.
The Lions answered on the next trip down the floor as DuBois hit a three-pointer of his own to cut the lead to 74-73 with 1:41 to play.
LMU's defense stepped it up a notch as they forced a double-dribble and Ireland scored on a drive down the lane to give the Lions the lead for good, 75-74, with :53 to play.
Ireland then played perfect deny defense on Morgan, creating a steal and a lay-in to give the Lions a big three-point lead, 77-74, with :23 to play.
Morgan cut the lead to a pair on a lay-in with :19 to play, and it took the Bengals 10 seconds to foul Ireland. The second-year player would drain a pair of free throws with eight seconds left.
The Lions played tight defense again, as DuBois tipped the ball out of bounds with just 1.8 seconds left, forcing an inbound in front of Idaho State's bench. Morgan was covered and forced a three that bounced off the far-side rim.
"This was a complete team win," said Good. "Godwin came out and played a heck of a game for us in getting 12 and seven. Ayodeji Egbeyemi came up with some big rebounds and key buckets. Alex Osborne hit some big buckets despite being under the weather all day. Tim Diederichs came off the bench and gave us big energy early when we were struggling on the boards. This was an all out team win."
The Lions were outrebounded on the offensive boards early, 8-2, as Idaho State built a lead as large as nine. However, LMU finished with a 10-9 edge the rest of the game. Both teams finished with 38 rebounds on the night.
LMU finished hitting 50 percent from the field on the night, hitting 53.3 percent in the second half and then 5-for-7 in the overtime frame (71.4 percent). LMU's defense held Idaho State to 39.1 percent from the field.
GAME NOTES: LMU improves to 2-0 on the road to start the season, winning their first two game on the road to start a season for the first time since 1995-96... Anthony Ireland has no scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games... The Lions continue to force more turnovers than they committed just 14 turnovers while forcing 17... Edgar Garibay had four points, three blocks, five rebounds, an assist and a steal in the start... Ayodeji Egbeyemi also earned his first start of the season, scoring eight points with seven rebounds and three assists in playing a career-high 41 minutes... Freshman C.J. Blackwell added eight points.