Dec. 1, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- In a game that featured 16 lead changes and six ties, LMU men's basketball used a second half full court press and tough defense to pull away late, earning a 66-56 win over Portland State at Gersten Pavilion Saturday night.
Five players scored in double figures for the Lions (4-4), led by senior Ashley Hamilton with a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Anthony Ireland added 12 points while Chase Flint, Godwin Okonji and C.J. Blackwell added 10 each.
Marcus Hall led Portland State (1-4) with 16 points, hitting 4-of-7 from three.
"I didn't like that we were just swapping baskets," said Head Coach Max Good. "So we went to the press, and it was the difference. They had just four turnovers at half and we forced them into 11 in the second half. I get nervous switching like that halfway through because you still have to stay disciplined in the half court. We did a pretty good job with it."
Portland State finished with 15 turnovers to the Lions' 14 and LMU once again dominated the glass, out rebounding the Vikings 41-27. The edge on the boards equated to a 15-5 edge in second chance points.
"We have done a good job of late on the glass, and we did a better job of getting the key rebounds when we needed them tonight." said Good.
LMU actually took a 2-0 lead before the clock even ran thanks to an administrative technical. But it was back-and-forth from the that point forward. The lead would flop six times in the half including a 29-23 lead for the Vikings with 3:32 to play in the first half.
However, the Lions would finish the half on a 7-0 run to take a 30-29 lead at the break.
The pace of exchanging baskets would continue as it would have its 15th lead change on a Lamont Prosser lay-in with 12:52 to play, giving the Vikings a 43-42 lead.
Then the Lions picked up the pressure on defense, holding Portland State without a point for nearly seven minutes. The defense pushed the Lions to a 9-0 run to take a 51-43 lead - the 16th and final lead change - on an Okonji dunk.
Hall finally broke the run for the Lions with a three-pointer, cutting it to 51-46 with 6:05 to play. Lions would continue the pressure, adding seven more points to complete a 16-3 run for a game-high 12-point lead, 58-46 with 4:28 to play.
Another three-pointer helped the Vikings get the lead down to seven but they would get no closer.
The Lions will play their final game before finals when they travel to Northern Arizona on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen on Fox Sports Net West and Fox Sports Arizona. As always, the game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
- GO LIONS -