Lions Toothless in Finale
Men's basketball can't overcome early double-digit deficit in ugly finale to Shootout.
Nov. 24, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It was one of those games for LMU men's basketball. If it could go wrong, it did, and Alaska-Anchorage made the Lions pay. LMU fell to the host Seawolves in the 2012 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, 83-77, at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Lions were down 11 before they had their first field goal. LMU shot just 26.9 percent in the first half. The Seawolves poured in 15 three pointers, hitting 57.1 percent form the field, including a 60.9 percent clip in the second half. The Lions went to the line 38 times, but missed 16 of them to shoot just 57.9 percent from the stripe.
Junior Anthony Ireland played the entire second half wearing No. 20 due to getting a tooth knocked out early in the second half. He never left the game until his fifth foul forced him out with 34 seconds to play.
Despite missing a tooth, Ireland did everything he could, scoring 26 points, giving him 79 points for the tournament. Ashley Hamilton added 16 and Nick Stover had 11. Five different players hit at least two three-pointers for UAA, including a 19-point effort from Teancum Stafford.
"We warned them and warned them and warned them again. This team can shoot and will hurt us if we don't come to play," said Head Coach Max Good. "And guess what? They killed us. They flat out beat us. We didn't respond. We got to the line and didn't hit our free throws. And we just didn't hit shots.
"Its a pretty basic game. Keep the other team from scoring and then put the ball in the basket yourself. We didn't do either."
The Lions were down 12-1 before Hamilton scored the Lions' first field goal five minutes into the game. LMU managed to cut the lead to three, 16-13, on a three-pointer by Hamilton. However, setting a trend for the evening, UAA hit a three on the next possession to jump the lead back to six.
LMU then got the lead to one, 21-20, on a dunk by Godwin Okonji, only to see a lay-in and a three-pointer to get it back to six. The lead jumped back to 11 and then settled to a just six when Ireland hit a runner at the buzzer to make it 35-29 at the break.
Then just over two minutes into the second half, Ireland lost the tooth and the lead was 42-33 with 16:42 to play.
"Anthony is one of the toughest players I have ever seen," said Good. "He once again was on the floor more than on his feet and he just kept on playing. He kept us in it, but no one else could hit shots. He is an outstanding free throw shooter and he was so beat-up, he was missing free throws."
UAA led 53-49 with 9:33 to play when reland hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, 53-52 with 9:22 to play. After one free throw by Jalen Little, Ireland's lay-up tied the game at 54-54 with 8:42.
Then UAA delivered the dagger, hitting back-to-back three -pointers to make it 60-54 with 7:33 to play. The Lions would get no closer than four the rest of the way.
"We worked so hard to get back to the tie the game, and then we give up those three-pointers. That killed us and was major disappointment," said Good. "And that is a huge understatement. I take full responsibility for that."
The Lions conclude a 20-day road swing and will host Long Beach State on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m., and then host Portland State on Homecoming, Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.