Lions Fall in Another Beach Thriller
Men's basketball can't hold early lead in yet another tight one with Long Beach State.
Nov. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- It has become expected in the series between LMU and Long Beach State. The series has had late comebacks, uptempo play from the opening tip-off and seven of the last 13 have gone down to the final seconds.
They were at it again as the up-and-down affair saw the 49ers (3-3) erase an 11-point first half deficit and then go on a late 8-0 run to earn a 73-70 win over the Lions (3-4) at Gersten Pavilion Thursday night.
"We followed the game plan really well tonight. We made them miss, we out rebounded them, and we shot the ball much better," said Head Coach Max Good. "We just made some mistakes at key moments. We made a stop but didn't get the rebound when we were down a possession late. We had a late rotation on defense. And to Long Beach State's credit, the capitalized on it."
The Lions were led by Ashley Hamilton with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Ayodeji Egbeyemi had his second career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. C.J. Balckwell had 15 points, hitting 5-for-8 from three. The 49ers held the Lions' leading scorer Anthony Ireland, who entered the week ranked ninth nationally at 23.5 per game, to just nine points on 4-of-14 shooting.
Mike Caffey led four 49ers (3-3) in double figures with 15. James Ennis added 14, while Deng Deng had 14 and Kris Gulley had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lions held a 42-37 edge on the boards and held the 49ers to just 41.7 percent shooting. The Lions hit 44.1 percent from the floor, hitting 52 percent from three (13-for-25). However, free throws were a key as Long Beach State went 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) while the Lions went just 5-for-11.
"They were able to get to the line a lot," said Good. "That was a big difference. Its been a long time since Anthony didn't get to the free throw line. We only had two guys get to the line and we have been doing a better job of that of late."
The Lions jumped out to a 13-3 lead thanks to a Chase Flint three-pointer, a Godwin Okonji dunk and a pair of free throws by Hamilton. Long Beach State would tie the game at 17. However, LMU would go on an 19-8 run to take an 11-point lead, 36-25, on a three-pointer by Blackwell.
The 49ers cut the lead to six at the break, 38-32, and would finally tie the game again, this time at 44-44, with 14:18 to play.
From there the game would feature five lead changes and six ties. Both teams would take leads as large as three, with Blackwell giving the Lions that advantage, 62-59, with 4:57 to play.
From there the 49ers would go on that 8-0 run, getting four points from Ennis in that stretch to take control.
The Lions conclude will continue their two-game home stand during Spirit Week with the 2012-13 Homecoming against Portland State on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. The Pregame Tailgate Party begins at 3:30 p.m.