Ireland Wins it for the Lions in Overtime
LMU starts WCC play with a big overtime road win as Anthony Ireland hits a runner with 1.8 seconds left and then a steal at the buzzer to win it.
Dec. 31, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - It is becoming typical of the LMU-San Francisco series of late, games coming down to the final shot. And this time Anthony Ireland provided the drama, drilling a runner with 1.8 seconds left in overtime to give the Lions a 77-76 win over San Francisco on Saturday night at War Memorial Gymnasium.
Ireland finished the game with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists while playing all 45 minutes. Freshman C.J. Blackwell led the Lions with 19 points and six rebounds. Drew Viney added 15 and Jarred DuBois added 10. Angelo Caloiaro did everything he could for the Dons, scoring a game-high 26 points. Williams had 17 while Perris Blackwell added 14 points and eight rebounds.
"I am really proud of our poise down the stretch," said Head Coach Max Good. "They really started to drain three-pointers down the stretch, and it seemed like they hit 80 in the final minutes. But we made some key plays and Anthony showed great composure on that final shot."
The Lions overcame 27 turnovers while forcing USF into 21, but used free throw shooting to turn the table. The Lions, who entered the game leading the league in free throw shooting, hit 14-for-16 (87.5 percent) while USF went 12-for-19 (63.2 percent), including a key miss in the final 30 seconds.
The Dons erased a 17-point second half deficit and Michael Williams hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. Caloiaro then gave the Dons their first lead of the game with 2:43 left in overtime.
USF's lead was short-lived as Ayodeji Egbeyemi gave the Lions the lead right back with his first bucket, making it 73-72 with a three-pointer at the 2:24 mark. USF's Perris Blackwell made it 74-73 with 1:26 to play on a lay-in.
Overtime would go back to LMU when DuBois gave the Lions a 75-74 lead with 45 seconds to play.
Caloiaro would drive the lane and score to give USF the lead back, 76-75, with 34.7 seconds left. He was fouled by DuBois on the play, his fifth of the game, to set-up a three-point opportunity for Caloiaro. However, he missed the free throw to set-up Ireland's winner.
The Lions, who shot 56 percent in the first half to take a 20-point lead early, finished the game hitting 44.8 percent, including an 11-for-24 clip from the three-point line (45.8 percent). USF, who hit 51.4 percent in the second half to outscore the Lions by 17, finished the game hitting 41.2 percent from the floor and 8-for-24 from the three-point line (33.3 percent).
The Lions will head home to face WCC newcomer BYU on Thursday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FS PrimeTicket and BYUtv. The game is also on KXLU 88.9 FM.
The Lions hit their first three-pointers of the game to take a 9-0 lead and used a 14-2 edge in points off turnovers to take a 20-point lead, 37-17...
Freshman C.J. Blackwell welcomed WCC play in a big way, scoring 10 first half points on 4-for-5 shooting, hitting both of his three-pointers. He finished with 19 points, six rebounds, hitting 7-for-12 from the floor.
Redshirt sophomore Alex Osborne had a career-high in steals, in the first half alone, with five. He finished with six points, five rebounds, and the five steals in 19 mintues.
While the Lions started hot in the first, the Dons returned the favor in the second. They opened with a 11-4 run to cut the lead to 41-31. Lions opened 1-for-5 in first four minutes of second half.
The Lions earned a road win in WCC play for the first time since Feb. 25, 2010 at San Diego (72-69)... The Lions are 3-0 in overtime this season.
The last three games between LMU and USF have been decided by a combined four points (Feb. 26, 2011 - USF 77, LMU 75; Jan. 27, 2011 - USF 61, LMU 60).