Overtime Winner Good for 300
Anthony Ireland hits key three and paces Lions to overtime winner over Northern Arizona as Max Good gets 300 career win.
Dec. 5, 2012
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Anthony Ireland hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds to play in regulation to force overtime, LMU then scored the first five points of overtime to earn a 92-86 win over Northern Arizona at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Wednesday night.
"That shot by Anthony at the end of regulation was absolutely huge," said Head Coach Max Good, who earned his 300th career win as an NCAA head coach. "And when it counted we came up with stops in overtime and got the win."
Ireland was one of four Lions in double figures, scoring 28 points on 11-for-22 shooting, hitting 4-for-5 from three while adding six assists and four steals. Ashley Hamilton had a career-best 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting before fouling out in overtime. Ayodeji Egbeyemi added 12 points and Bruce English came off the bench in his first game of the season to score 10.
DeWayne Russell had 23 points and Gabe Rogers had 22, hitting 6-for-15 from the three-point line for NAU.
LMU (5-4) held Northern Arizona (3-5) to just 1-for-12 from the field in overtime, putting a dent in their overall hot shooting that was a big part of the game going to overtime in the first place. The Lions have won five straight overtime games and are 8-2 under Good in overtime.
The Lions would open the extra frame with a lay-up from Hamilton, a free throw from Chase Flint and a jumper by Ireland to take a 85-80 lead with 1:52 to play in overtime. A three-point play by Gaellan Bewernick cut the lead to 85-83.
On the next possession, Ireland and the Lions delivered the dagger. Driving the lane, Ireland dished with two seconds on the shot clock to a waiting C.J. Blackwell, who drained the three-pointer from the deep corner to give the Lions an 88-83 lead with 56 seconds left. The Lions would hit key free throws to keep the game at a more than two possession game the rest of the way.
"Anthony drove the lane and did a great job of seeing CJ alone and he then did what good shooters do, hit it when it counts," said Good. "That was good offense."
The Lumberjacks used 63 percent shooting in the second half (17-for-27), including a 5-for-10 clip from long range to erased an 18-point deficit. They finished shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three, while the Lions had their best shooting performance since the opener, hitting 32-for-64 from the field (50 percent) and 56 percent from three (14-for-25).
"We have got to figure out how to play with a lead," said Good. "We get complacent and next thing you know they hit a couple three-pointers, their crowd gets in it and then we are fighting for our lives. We got lucky they missed some key free throws that could have buried us. But, we hung in there, got some big shots and came away with the win. But losing those leads just can't happen. It is very frustrating."
The Lions led 49-38 at halftime after English hit a jumper at the first half buzzer. They then took a 61-43 lead with 15:10 to play on a Godwin Okonji lay-up.
With the lead at 66-49 after a Hamilton lay-up with 13:31 to play, Northern Arizona went on a 12-0 run, which included a pair of Rogers three-pointers, to cut the lead to 66-61. A pair of free throws by Hamilton ended the run and the Lions would take a 75-68 lead with 4:42 to play.
NAU went on another run, this one at 9-0, to take a 77-75 lead with 2:07 to play. The Lumberjacks then had a chance to extend the lead but missed a pair of free throws. They got the offensive rebound and got fouled again to make another trip to the foul line. They missed both again.
Ireland took advantage. He would tie the game at 77 with a pair of free throws with 1:05 to play. Rogers then looked to have the final answer as he hit his sixth three of the game to give NAU an 80-77 lead. It was short lived as Ireland answered yet again to send the game to overtime and give the Lions the eventual win.
The Lions will have two weeks off for finals before facing Ole Miss on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast by ESPNU and can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
Game Notes: LMU's 92-86 win over Northern Arizona in overtime was the 300th NCAA head coaching win over Max Good. He improves to 300-302 in his 5th season at LMU and 21st season as an NCAA head coach.
NCAA HEAD COACHING RECORDS: