Team Play Gets Road Win

Gabe Levin's 14 rebounds is second all-time for a freshman.

Dec. 2, 2013

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- All 10 players for LMU that entered their non-conference game against UC Riverside played at least 11 minutes and all of them played a major role in the Lions 73-69 win over the Highlanders at the SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif., on Monday night.

Freshman Gabe Levin claimed his third double-double of the season, going for 13 points and 14 rebounds, including a driving dunk to put the game away for the Lions. Senior Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 16 points and freshman Evan Payne added 12 points for LMU, who continues its best start since 2006-07 by improving to 6-2 on the season.

The Lions overcame a 22-point, 16-rebound performance by UC Riverside's (2-4) Taylor John's.

"This was a win by the entire team," said Head Coach Max Good. "We were dealt with some injuries early, but everyone who came into the game tonight made key contributions. I was really proud of our effort as a unit. This was a good team win."

LMU finished the game shooting just 38.1 percent but built a 33-20 lead with 4:21 to play in the first half thanks to Levin's free throw. The Highlanders trimmed the lead to four, 35-31, on a dunk by Johns with 1:03 to play. The Lions managed to put the lead back to eight, 39-31 at the break.

The Lions started the half with a Chase Flint lay-up, but saw the 10-point lead evaporate thanks to a 14-2 run by UC Riverside that was capped by a Chris Harriel three-pointer gave them the 45-43 lead.

LMU answered right back, as Ireland's three-pointer gave LMU the lead back and was part of a 11-1 run that put LMU up 54-45 with 11:13 to play. Sophomore Nick Stover capped the run with a three-pointer of his own and had all five of his points in the run. Ireland would keep the Lions up nine, 59-50, with 9:01 to play with another three-pointer.

However, UC Riverside did not go away, going on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 61-60 on a Johns' jumper with six minutes to play. Johns would keep the Highlanders within a field goal, hitting a jumper with 4:25 to play to make it 64-62. An Ireland jumper, a Levin put-back, one of his eight offensive rebounds, and a Chase Flint three-pointer gave LMU a 71-62 lead with 1:58 to play.

It wasn't quite over, as the Highlanders cut the lead to 71-69 on Nick Gruninger's free throws with 44 seconds to play. On LMU's next possession, Flint hit a driving Levin whose dunk put the game away.

The Lions finished the game hitting 21-for-29 free throws, compared to 9-for-14 for UC Riverside. UCR finished hitting 41.4 percent from the field.

Flint finished the game with nine points and two steals, sophomore Marin Mornar had five rebounds and three blocks, while Ayodeji Egbeyemi had five points and six rebounds in just 11 minutes. Sophomore CJ Blackwell had five points and three rebounds off the bench.

LMU continues its six-game road swing when they head to Pittsburgh on Friday, Dec. 6 for a 4 pm, tipoff.




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