Scrappy Lions Hurt by First Half Run
Lions can't overcome 26-9 first half run by Tulsa in 79-65 setback on the road Tuesday night.
Nov. 24, 2009
TULSA, Okla. - For a little more than 31 minutes, LMU men's basketball played toe-to-toe with the University of Tulsa, a team picked to overtake Memphis in Conference USA play this season. It was that other nine minutes that proved the difference as the young Lions fell to a senior-laden Tulsa squad, 79-65, at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday night.
Sophomore Drew Viney took a pass from junior Vernon Teel and buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 20-20 with 9:31 left in the first half. From there, Tulsa showed why they are picked by many to take over as king of Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane closed the half on a 26-9 run to take a 17-point lead at the break, 46-29.
That is all they would need as they improved to 5-0, all at home on the season. The Lions fall to 2-4 on the year, playing their sixth game in 12 days.
"Our schedule is really tough," said Good. "We have a very young team -- we started three sophomores, a freshman and a junior. They started four seniors and a junior. They are a very good team and this is a very hard place to play. We have to learn from this. In fact, we learned from one half to another and were better in the second half. Our kids got a lot tougher in the second half."
Viney led four Lions in double figures with 18 points, adding seven rebounds and a career-best four steals. Kevin Young had 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Freshman Edgar Garibay was impressive against the senior seven-footer Jerome Jordan, scoring 12 points with nine rebounds. Teel added 10 points with seven assists and one turnover.
"Like I said, in the second half I thought we played a lot better," said Good. "I thought Edgar Garibay had an excellent game, especially for a freshman. Drew Viney had a solid game offensively. I thought we pumped up and played much better in the second half."
The Lions outscored Tulsa 36-33 in the second half despite shooting just 39.4 percent from the field for the game, the lowest of the season. Tulsa finished shooting 49.2 percent.
LMU cut the lead to as low as 11 on a three-pointer by Young with 4:52 to play, but that was as close as they would get.
"Part of that (shooting) comes from the seven-footers. You have to look at blocks. They had 12 blocks for the game. When you have 12 blocks you have 0-for-12 from the field, that effects your shooting performance. You look at JD (Jarred DuBois), he went 2-for-10 from the field, and Vernon, he went 4-for-13 from the field. At last two or three of those shots for each of them were affected by the shot blocks."
Outside of the shooting, the Lions played Tulsa even. Tulsa entered the game earning 18 more free throws than their opponents. On Tuesday, they finished 10-for-14 while the Lions went 6-for-12. They had also scored at least 10 or more second chance points than their opponents. The Lions played them even, each team earning 17 points on offensive rebounds. The Lions also had one less turnover, forcing Tulsa into 12 while only having 11.
LMU returns home for a mini two-game homestand, starting with UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. The game is part of a tripleheader of basketball at Gersten Pavilion, with the final day of the women's basketball thanksgiving tournament taking place at 1 and 3 p.m.