Lions Look For Quick Rebound
LMU to play fourth game in eight days when they face Santa Clara on Saturday at 3 pm.
Jan. 3, 2014
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- LMU will play their fourth game in eight days to start West Coast Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they continue a four-game road swing at Santa Clara. The Lions (10-5, 2-1) will look for a quick rebound against the Broncos (8-8, 1-2). The game can be seen on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and TheW.tv at 3 pm. Listen live on KXLU 88.9 FM.
|GAME:||LMU (10-5, 2-1) at Santa Clara (8-8, 1-2)|
|DATE/TIME:||Jan. 4, 2014 // 3 p.m. (PST)|
|LOCATION:||Leavey Center // Santa Clara, CA|
|WATCH:||TWC SportsNet, CSN Bay Area|
|RADIO:||KXLU 88.9 FM (Jesse Kass, Drew Rossi)|
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The Lions took two of three from the Broncos last season, including a 60-58 win in the WCC Quarterfinals. The Broncos are coming off a 70-61 setback at home Thursday to Pepperdine. The Lions will look to get back to their trends from the first 14 games of the season. The Lions are the top offensive rebounding team in the WCC at 13.7 per game, but for just the fourth time on the season saw an opponent have more as the Dons held them to a season low seven offensive rebounds. The Broncos are ranked eighth in that category but the game will feature the No. 1-2 teams in taking care of the ball. The Broncos have a turnover margin of +2.56 while turning the ball over just 10.1 time per game. Tops in the WCC. The Lions have a margin of +1.80, second to SCU, forcing teams into 14.1 turnovers per game on 7.5 steals per game, tops in the WCC. The Lions, who had just 16 turnovers in the opening homestand to WCC play, had 13 against USF, nine in the first half.
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU began the 2013-14 West Coast Conference by running their home winning streak to five games with a home sweep of BYU and San Diego. They began a four-game road swing with a 75-61 setback at San Francisco to snap a four-game winning streak. The Lions are playing four games in eight days to start WCC play. They are 10-5 on the season and 2-1 in WCC play. It is the Lions' best start since 1995-96 season when they began 11-4. The Lions improved to 5-0 at home, equaling the best start at home since winning the first five in 2006-07.
The Lions hit 84.6 percent from the free throw line (22-26) at San Francisco on Thursday, hitting better than 71 percent in a game 12 times season. They are tops in the WCC overall hitting 77.2 percent on the season. As of Dec. 29 the Lions ranked 8th in the nation. Since returning home the last four games, the Lions are hitting 82.2 percent from the charity stripe (74-for-90).
The Lions had a season-high 20 offensive rebounds good for 23 second chance points in the win over UC Riverside. They equalled that total with 20 against La Sierra, going for a season-high 25 second chance points. The Lions have had double-digit offensive rebounds in 13 of the 15 games on the season and lead the West Coast Conference with 13.7 per game. The Lions grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to cut a 23-point deficit to five against NIU, and against Long Beach State the Lions had 19 offensive boards and held a 45-30 edge on the glass. They used five of their 19 offensive rebounds in the final minute to get the win at LBSU. Freshman Gabe Levin is second in the WCC with 3.2 offensive rebounds per game.
The Lions have had more turnovers than their opponents just once in 15 games this season, turning the ball over just 16 times in two games to start WCC play, giving it away just seven times on Saturday against the Cougars. They are averaging 12.27 turnovers per game this season. The Lions have averaged under 13 turnovers a game just twice in program history. They averaged just 12.97 in 2009-10 and set the record in 1983-84 at 11.98 per game. The Lions are second in the WCC in turnover margin at +1.80.
Senior Anthony Ireland continues to pace the Lions in all areas of the floor. In the first two WCC contests of the season, he chipped in 17 assists while averaging 12 points per contest. He had his 37th 20-point game against La Sierra and his start against USF was the 108th of his career, making him just the fourth player in LMU history to reach the century mark (joining Mark Armstrong - 109, Mike Yoest - 103, and Jim Williamson - 101). With 272 points, 82 assists and 26 steals to start the season, Ireland moved ahead of Jim Haderlein for seventh all-time in LMU history with 1,848 career points. He also moved to fourth with 466 career assists and seventh with 173 career steals.
Freshman Evan Payne led the Lions with 27 points against BYU, posting his second straight career-high (24 points against La Sierra). Saturday's point total is tied for the fourth best point total by a freshman in LMU History. It is also the most ever by an LMU freshman in his first WCC game and the third-most by an LMU player in his conference debut. He added a team-high 16 in the win over San Diego. With his 11 points against San Francisco on Thursday, Payne now has 223 points on the season and is ranked 15th all-time for freshman scoring in a season. He has scored in double figures in eight straight games heading into the Santa Clara game.
Freshman Gabe Levin went for his fourth double-double in his young career with 14 points and 14 rebounds at Pittsburgh and is one of just five freshman to have multiple double-doubles in their debut season, and his four so far this season is now tied for the most in program history (Kevin Young - 4 - `08-09; Orlando Johnson - 3 - `07-08; Andy Osborn - 3 - `01-02; Luther Philyaw - 2 - `72-73). He has grabbed 14 rebounds in a single game three times already this season while also scoring double figures in the first 12 games of his career, going for 12 points in both wins to start WCC play, grabbing and seven rebounds on Saturday and then eight against USD. He had the streak snapped at USF with six points and five rebounds. Heading into Santa, Levin is third in the WCC in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and is 6th for freshman in rebounds per contest. With five rebounds against USF, he cracked the top-10 for freshman rebounds. His 110 is ranked 10th all-time.
Three Lions average double figures, led by senior Anthony Ireland at 18.1 ppg, ranking third in the WCC as of Jan. 2. The next two in double figures are freshman. Evan Payne is 12th in the WCC and second on the team with 14.2 ppg. Fellow freshman Gabe Levin scored double figures in his first 12 games as a Lion, the most by a freshman in LMU history and is third on the team at 12.1 ppg. Through 14 games, the Lions are averaging 78.1 points per game (5th in the WCC). The last time the Lions averaged over 75 points a game in a season was in 2009-10 at 75.8 ppg. They averaged 75.9 in 1998-99, 79.0 in 1993-94, and 91.1 in 1991-92. The all-time record is 122.4 ppg in that 1989-90 Elite Eight season.
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