Hot Shooting Second Half Earns Win
Men's basketball shoots 62 percent in the second half, 57 percent for the game, to earn a 78-62 win over Portland State.
LOS ANGELES - LMU men's basketball erased a 10-point first half deficit thanks in part to 62 percent shooting in the second half to earn a 78-62 win over Portland State at Gersten Pavilion Friday night.
Brandon Brown led the Lions with 20 points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal. Freshman Erik Johansson came off the bench to hit 5-of-7 three-pointers to add 15 points. Steven Haney Jr. added 12 points, four rebounds and two assists, hitting a pair of three-pointers.
LMU (2-2) finished shooting 57.4 percent from the field while Portland State (1-3) hit 37.7 percent. The Vikings were led by Braxton Tucker with 15 points and six rebounds.
The Lions had 10 of their 15 turnovers in the first half, committing four of them in the first six possessions to fall down 14-4 and then 16-6 with 10:12 to play in the first half. Less than two minutes later, the Lions would go on a 7-0 run to cut it to three, 16-13, on a Brown jumper. An 8-3 run by Portland State had them leading 24-16, with 5:49 to play. It was from there the Lions started to make a push. They would go on an 8-0, capped by a Jeffery McClendon lay-up with 3:38 to play, tying the game at 24-24. They would later take the lead on a Johansson three-pointer.
Portland State managed to hold a 33-32 lead at the break. The teams would trade buckets to open the half, but back-to-back buckets by Haney and Stefan Jovanovic would give the Lions a 39-35 lead, one they wouldn't let go of. Up 46-42, the Lions would take control with an 8-0 run to go up 56-44 with 10:08 to play. They would stretch the lead to as large as 18.
The Lions entered the week leading the WCC in three-point defense at 22 percent and held the Vikings to just 5-for-21 from three (23.8), including a 1-for-7 clip in the second half. They finished the game holding Portland State to 37.7 percent from the field and finished with a 15-11 edge in points off turnovers. The Lions finished shooting 57.4 percent (31-for-54) from the field, hitting 18-for-29 (62 percent) in the second half. After going just 2-of-8 from three in the first half, they hit 7-of-14 in the second frame.
FROM COACH DUNLAP"At every level we were better in the second half," said Head Coach Mike Dunlap. "We took care of the ball much better. We rebounded better. We played with higher energy."
"In the first half we were able to reel them in," said Dunlap. "We weren't playing Lion basketball to start the game, but we were able to grind it out and get it to within one. That was important for us. And then I thought our conditioning really took over."
"Brandon Brown was really special tonight."
UP NEXTThe Lions will have 10 days off before hosting Boise State on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 pm. The Lions are in the middle of a four-game homestand that will end with Southern Utah on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 pm.
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