Lions Shoot Way to Road Win
Men's basketball heads into WCC play with 87-80 road win over UC Irvine.
Dec. 30, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. - LMU used its best shooting game of the season to wrap up 2010 and head into West Coast Conference action with an 87-80 road win over UC Irvine at the Bren Center on Thursday night. It was the Lions' first win at Irvine since Dec. 1, 1984 as five players scored in double figures in the win.
Junior Drew Viney led the Lions with his seventh double-double, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds. Vernon Teel added 20 points and seven rebounds as LMU (7-7) had its best shooting game of the season, hitting 55.6 percent from the field. They held UC Irvine (6-8) to just 39.7 percent from the field.
"This was a really big win for us as it came against a good team," said Head Coach Max Good. "We really had good, intense practices and we were able to play like we practiced. I was proud with how aggressive we were for most of the game. They had a good comeback, as good teams do. But we stayed poised and got a good win."
The Lions turned a tight opening half into an eight-point halftime lead, 42-34, by scoring the final eight points of the half.
Tied at 34-34, Ireland hit a three-pointer to give the Lions a 37-34 lead with 1:40 to play. Teel made it a five-point lead with a pair of free throws and Viney capped a 16-point first half with a three-pointer with 59 seconds to play.
The run would continue. After the Anteaters Patrick Rembert hit a three to make it 42-37, the Lions would go on a 13-0 run to push lead 55-37 on a jumper by Ireland. The Lions pushed the lead to 19, 58-39, thanks to pushing the run to 24-5.
Like the Anteaters did against UCLA just last week, they would fight back. The lead would slowly crawl to under 10, as Damam Starring hit a lay-up to cut the lead to eight, 64-56 with 8:35 remaining.
LMU would go back up double-digits, 67-56, on a lay-up by Ayodeji Egbeyemi with 8:05 to play.
UC Irvine wasn't finished. They would cut the lead to four, 68-64, on back-to-back three-pointers by Moore and Mike Wilder. UCI then forced an LMU turnover and had a break away and looked to have a chance to cut the lead to just a pair.
However, Ireland came from behind and earned a huge steal, then fed Teel on a breakaway to push the lead to 70-64. The Lions would never see their lead go below six.
UC Irvine went 26-for-28 (92.9 percent) from the free throw line, including six-for-six in the final minutes. However, the Lions went 9-for-12 in the same stretch and finished 22-for-30 (73.3 percent) to earn the win.
LMU will head into West Coast Conference action on Thursday, Jan. 6 when they host Saint Mary's at Gersten Pavilion in a game televised on ESPNU starting at 6 p.m. The game can also be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.