Men's Basketball

Late Run Hurts Lions in Tight Game

Nino Jackson came off the bench to help spark the Lions' rally.

Nino Jackson came off the bench to help spark the Lions' rally.

Nov. 25, 2013

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ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands -- For the third time in as many games, LMU erased another double-digit deficit, taking a late lead. However, Vanderbilt had a run of their own, going on a 7-0 run late to push them to a 77-68 win in the fourth place game of the 2013 Ezybonds Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Sunday night.

"It came down to the end and we showed our youth a little bit in crunch time," said Head Coach Max Good. "Down the stretch we needed to hit a couple shots to answer and didn't get the right look. In games like this, it doesn't take much. Just two or three minor errors can be the difference. And that was the case tonight."

Anthony Ireland had his third straight 20-point game, going for 20 to finish the three games in the Paradise Jam averaging 23 points. He added two assists, three rebounds and a steal, giving him seven steals in the tournament. The guard, who has played in every game as a Lion, earned his 100th start on the night.

Joining Ireland in double figures for the seventh straight game was freshman Gabe Levin with 10 points and five rebounds. Ben Dickinson also had 10 points as the Lions (5-2) shot 40.3 percent for the game, hitting 50 percent in the second half to erase the lead. Vanderbilt shot 60 percent in the second half and finished hitting 48.1 percent for the game.

Kyle Fuller led four players in double figures for Vanderbilt with 19 points, hitting 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Eric McClellan had 17.

"We have a lot to build on," said Good. "We did some good things throughout this tournament and we have to get back to practice and really grow from here. This group does not give up and I thought our press really bothered them. We need some practice right now."

LMU trailed by 11 in the first half and then trailed 43-35 just four minutes into the second half. They would go on a 7-2 run to cut the lead three, 45-42, on a Marin Mornar three-point play. Then down 50-44, they would post a 7-1 run to tie the game at 51-51 on a pair of Levin free throws.

Trailing 53-51, the Lions got back-to-back lay-ups from Ayodeji Egbeyemi and Ireland to take their first lead of the second half, 55-53, with 8:45 to play. It would go back-and-forth for the next three minutes with the Lions taking a 60-57 lead on a jumper by Ireland with 5:34 to play.

Vanderbilt would then post their run, getting a lay-up by James Siakam, a Fuller three-pointer and a pair of free throws from Josh Henderson to make it 64-60 with 3:35 to play.

LMU would get to the free throw line and get a pair of stops but would go just 2-4 from the stripe during that stretch, cutting the lead to 64-62 with 2:07 to play.

"We missed a couple key free throws and then forced some shots that allowed them to get a little cushion on us and we couldn't recover," said Good.

Vanderbilt would hit 9-of-10 from the free throw line and would get a tip-in on the one miss to put the game away. The Commodores entered the game shooting just 56.5 percent from the free throw line but found their stroke against the Lions, hitting 24-for-32, good for 74 percent. The Lions, who entered hitting better than 71 percent, hit 14-for-21 (66.7 percent).

LMU returns to Southern California but remains on the road during their month-long road swing, traveling to UC Riverside on Monday, Dec. 2. Tip-off is set for 7 pm, and can be heard n KXLU 88.9 FM.

 

 

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