Dec. 22, 2012
SAINT LOUIS -- The game before Christmas has not provided much holiday spirit for LMU men's basketball the past decade and that trend continued Saturday as they fell to Saint Louis, 65-44, at Chaifetz Arena in Saint Louis.
The first half hurt the Lions as Saint Louis hit their first four shots of game to take a 12-2 lead. After the Lions cut it to 12-11, the Billikens (8-3) finished the half on a 25-7 run, including a 16-0 spurt, to take control of the game. The Lions (5-6) started the second half on an 8-1 run but never could get the lead under double digits.
"We started terrible, had about a four-minute spurt and then after that we just couldn't score," said Head Coach Max Good. "We told them from the beginning that Saint Louis is a very, very good team and they will put the wood to you. They are very disciplined and they will not blow many leads."
The Lions have not won on the road in the game before Christmas since Dec. 21, 2000 at Loyola (Ill.) and the only other win in that span was an 85-80 overtime win over Long Beach State at Gersten Pavilion on Dec. 21, 2009.
The Lions struggled offensively from the start, missing seven of their first eight shots, while finishing the game hitting just 34.0 percent (17-for-50) from the field. They struggled from long range, hitting just 2-for-14 from three (14.3 percent). The Billikens finished hitting 44.9 percent, hitting 8-for-23 from three (including their first three long ball attempts of the game).
Anthony Ireland managed to net 16 points on 7-for-20 shooting while Alex Osborne continues solid play in replacement of Godwin Okonji with 11 points and five rebounds.
Mike McCall, Jr., scored nine of his team-high 14 points in the first four minutes to lead the BIllikens. Jordair Jett and Jake Barnett had 11 for the balanced Saint Louis attack.
The Lions head home for a pair of games before conference play begins, starting with the LMU Holiday Classic against Morgan State on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. The game is free to all and will feature $1 hotdogs from Sodexo.
NOTES: Director of Basketball Operations Ben Rosenfeld was in his final game on the sideline for the Lions, as he will leave to take a position at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference in Cape Cod, Mass., working in Sports Administration and Championships. A replacement will be named at the beginning of the new year... Lions were without four scholarship players Saturday: Godwin Okonji missed his second game following emergency surgery... C.J. Blackwell missed the game due to the same knee injury that saw him miss the start of the season. He will likely miss the rest of the season and will apply for a medical redshirt... Ben Dickinson is redshirting due to NCAA transfer rules and the Lions' have decided to redshirt freshman Taj Adams.
- GO LIONS -