Dec. 9, 2006
Box Score |
Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 9) - Loyola Marymount, playing in their ninth game in 22 days following a six-game road swing, went to a full court press for 40 full minutes to defeat UC Irvine 73-65 at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday night. It was the Lions first home game since Nov. 19 as 11 players made the full court press effective for LMU.
The Lions forced 16 turnovers and committed a season-low six themselves to improve to 7-4 on the season and remain perfect at home with a 4-0 mark this season and 11-5 overall under Head Coach Rodney Tention. The Anteaters fall to 3-5 on the year.
The six turnovers is the lowest since the Lions had six against Santa Clara in January of 2003. The Lions committed six on Jan. 16, 1993 against Gonzaga. The six turnovers is the record low for the program since at least 1980.
Senior Brandon Worthy hade 16 points and six assists while fellow senior Matthew Knight went for 15 points and 10 rebounds, his 22nd career double-double. While Worthy and Knight continued their consistent play, the Lions' win was a balanced attack. Senior Adoyah Miller had 14 points in his first start of the year, while senior John Montgomery and junior Jon Ziri each had eight.
"We played a lot of guys tonight," said Tention. "Brandon and Matty have been carrying the load. We have been talking a lot about rotating the basketball and executing the system. Tonight we had a consistent effort from all of our guys. If we can continue to that, we will be alright."
The game featured 10 lead changes and 10 ties as the Lions took a halftime lead for the first time in five games, 30-28. However, UC Irvine took a six-point lead with 13:43 remaining when Patrick Sanders, who led the Anteaters with 18 points, hit a jumper to make it 44-38.
LMU would go on a 5-0 run to get back to within one and then took the lead with 9:06 remaining on a Ziri three-pointer. The game would then be tied or have a lead change 11 times over the next five minutes. The Lions constant pressure finally broke through as the Lions posted up six straight points to take a 68-62 lead.
The run started with a steal by Worthy and a jumper by Miller with 3:38 remaining to go up 64-62. The Lions forced another UCI turnover on a Worthy steal that was converted on a Knight lay-up to make it 66-62. With 1:58 remaining Montgomery hit a pair of free throws to go up 68-62.
A Darren Fells lay-up cut the lead to four, 68-64, with 1:33 remaining. Fells finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The teams traded a free throw before Miller drained four straight free throws to secure the win.
"Our strategy tonight was to put a lot of pressure on them. We saw in film they had trouble handling the pressure and wanted to really force them to work at getting into the half court offense," said Tention. "I think our guys really enjoyed playing that pressure defense. This might have been our best 40 minutes of the season."
The Lions well have a week off for finals before heading off to San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 16 for a 7 p.m. start. The game can be heard on Lions' All-Access through KXLU 88.9 FM and LMULions.com.
- GO LIONS -