Lions Back Home for Broncos

Munis Tutu
Jan. 6, 2017


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LOS ANGELES - After a quick trip up the PCH, LMU men’s basketball returns home to Gersten Pavilion to take on Santa Clara in West Coast Conference action on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 pm. The game is free for Little Lions Club members and will be broadcast live through Spectrum SportsNet and on the other WCC regional partners CSN California, ROOT Northwest and ROOT Rocky Mountain. The game can also be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and seen out of market at TheW.tv.

The Last Meeting
Santa Clara76
Loyola Marymount72
February 18, 2016
Gersten Pavilion
Free Throws Difference in Tight One
LMU men’s basketball hit nearly 50 percent from the field and knocked down 11 three-pointers. However, the charity stripe tilted in favor of Santa Clara, lifting them to a 76-72 win over the Lions at Gersten Pavilion on Thursday night.

Date | Time: Saturday, Jan. 7 | 3 pm (PT)
Where: Gersten Pavilion | Los Angeles, CA
GAME PREVIEW: LMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | SCU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
The Match-up: LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
SCU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
Live Broadcast: Spectrum SportsNet, CSN California, ROOT Northwest, ROOT Rocky Mountain | TheW.tv (out of market)
RADIO: KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online
Live Stats: StatBroadcast | GameTracker
GameDay Info: GAMEDAY CENTRAL | BUY TICKETS | COMING TO LMU

THE MATCH-UP

• The senior led Lions continue their season defined as the Cardiac Lions as they enter Saturday’s game at 7-7 overall and 0-3 in the WCC. The Lions had their fourth one-point decision in the last seven match-ups on Thursday, falling to rival Pepperdine 71-70 at the buzzer. Eight of LMU’s last 11 games decided in the last 10 seconds of the game (record of 3-5). The Lions are 4-5 in games decided by less than seven points, going 2-2 in one-point games, 1-2 in three-point games, the five-point setback against BYU and the seven-point win over Southern Utah. Brandon Brown leads the Lions with 14.2 ppg and 5.29 apg. Buay Tuach led the Lions with 18 points against Pepperdine and averages 11.2 ppg, 3.1 apg and 4.6 rpg. Stefan Jovanovic has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games and averages 11.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg.

• After falling at BYU to start WCC play 89-59, Santa Clara has won their last two at home. They defeated San Francisco 72-59 on Dec. 31 and then on Thursday ran away from Portland, 70-42, allowing just 13 field goals. Santa Clara is 8-8 on the season and 2-1 in the WCC under first year head coach Herb Sendek. Sharp-shooter Jared Brownridge became the 11th player in WCC history to reach 2,000 career points and leads the team with 17.8 per game, hitting 51-for-137 three-pointers (37.2 percent). Because of Brownridge, the Broncos are second in the WCC with 9.6 three-pointers per game, hitting 14 against Portland.

• This will be the 148th meeting between Santa Clara and LMU. The teams split the season series a year ago with both teams winning on the road. The Broncos won 76-72 at Gersten Pavilion on Feb. 18 in the last meeting. Brownridge got hot int he second half to finish with 26 points and the Broncos hit 20-for-25 free throws to just 3-for-6 for the Lions.

INSIDE THE LIONS

• The Lions are 7-7, 0-3 on the season as they enter Saturday’s game. The Lions won five of their last six games in non-conference and had a season-best four-game winning streak. They now have dropped a season-high three straight, two of which in the final 10 seconds. Here is a look at the last month of the Cardiac season for the Lions:

  • Dec. 10 - LMU 69, CSUN 68 - Stefan Jovanovic hits a put-back with nine seconds remaining and Lions defense deflects shot at the buzzer for road win.
  • Dec. 17 - LMU 91, UIW 90 (ot) - Down eight in second half, Lions hit 11 straight free throws to end regulation, and defense holds on two UIW shots at the buzzer.
  • Dec. 19 - LMU 69, CSU 66 - LMU erases 10 point deficit in final nine minutes as Brandon Brown hits three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left for road win.
  • Dec. 22 - UTA 80, LMU 77 - LMU trailed by 9 with 6:30 to play and a pair of three-pointers at buzzer don’t fall.
  • Dec. 31 - BYU 81, LMU 75 - LMU led by 10 with 9:01 to play but TJ Haws hit back-to-back three- pointers, the second coming with 36 seconds to play, gave the Cougars the 79-76 lead. LMU had a chance to tie with 10 seconds left but the shot was blocked.
  • Jan. 5 - Pepperdine 71, LMU 70 - LMU led by seven with 7:54 to play but Waves hit put-back with 1.6 left for one-point win.

• Brown and Jovanovic are two of five seniors pacing the Lions this season and they both have been hot of late. Within the WCC, Brown is 13th in scoring (14.2 ppg) and 5th in assists (5.29 apg). He is also 5th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4). Jovanovic scored in double figures the last seven non-conference games, including a pair of career-highs in the process, and has double figures in nine of the last 10 games. He is ranks 22nd in scoring (11.1 ppg) and 3rd in shooting at 60.4 percent. He is also ranked 3rd in offensive rebounds at 2.6 and 6th in blocks at 1.0 per game.

• Senior Buay Tuach continues to do a little of everything for the Lions, leading the Lions with those 18 points against Pepperdine, adding five rebounds, two assists and block and a steal. He ranks 21st in scoring (11.2 ppg), 12th in shooting (51.8 percent), 12th in assists (3.1 apg), 5th in steals (1.4 spg) and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

• Senior Shamar Johnson returned to the line-up after missing the last two games due to injury, scoring 10 points with six rebounds and a career-best six assists against BYU. He had 10 points and three rebounds against Pepperdine. The Pensacola, Fla., native has become a leader for the Lions and is having his best season with 7.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg. He is 13th in the league in shooting at 49.4 percent and 9th with 1.9 offensive rebounds per game. The final senior in the rotation, Kelvin Amayo who was granted a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA, has been a big presence off the bench. In 17.5 minutes a game he is averaging 5.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.77 apg, and 0.85 spg.

• The Lions use their entire roster with the nine players used against No. 19 Saint Mary’s the fewest in any game this season, as they have used at least 10 in every other game. They used all 12 players on Saturday against BYU and against on Thursday against Pepperdine. The Lions used their seventh starting line-up on Thursday with freshman Erik Johansson and Shamar Johnson starting together. Sophomore transfer Trevor Manuel, who became eligible on Dec. 17, led the Lions in the first two conference games. He had a career-best 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting in 22 minutes against Saint Mary’s. Against BYU, he went for 16 points and seven rebounds. In leading the Lions in both games over the opening weekend, Manuel was the seventh different Lion to lead the team in scoring this season. Seven different Lions have led them in rebounding, including Manuel’s career-best seven on Saturday.

• For the first time in the month the Lions were outscored in the paint. Saint Mary’s outscored the Lions 34-18 in the paint. They were back at it against BYU, outscoring them 40-26. In the post, the Lions are outscoring opponents 484 to 359 in points in the paint the first 14 games. The best of the season came in a 54-14 edge in points in the paint against UIW. It is the widest margin on record in last 20 years. In the win over the Rams on Dec. 19. They are 7-4 when scoring more points in the paint than their opponent. They outscored Pepperdine 40-32.

• Another key in the Lions’ seven wins has been the glass. Against CSU, LMU had a 15-4 edge in second chance points thanks to a plus-9 rebounding edge over the Rams. They held a +5 edge against the Bears on Dec. 26 and held a +7 edge against BYU (42-35). The setback to BYU dropped them to 6-1 on the season when they out-rebound their opponent. Saint Mary’s out-rebounded the Lions 38-26 on Dec. 29 and Pepperdine had a 34-32 edge on Jan. 5. Against UIW, LMU held a 43-30 edge on the glass and held a 21-7 advantage in second chance points. They are 6-0 when holding an edge in second chance points. BYU managed a 14-12 edge in second chance points.

• The Lions shot over 50 percent from the field in back-to-back games, hitting 52.3 percent against Boise State after going for a season-best 57.4 percent in the win over Portland State. It is the first time the Lions have posted back-to-back games over 50 percent since December of 2009. They hit 62.1 percent in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit. On Dec. 19, they hit 50 percent in the second half against CSU to erase another 10-point deficit, hitting 13-for-26. They nearly did it again against UTA, hitting 55.6 percent in the second half and had a chance at the tie after tailing by nine with just over six minutes to play. The Lions went over 50 percent for the fourth time on the season with a 53.6 percent effort in the win over CSUN. LMU shot 50 percent or better just twice all of last year.

• More rankings... the Lions are 2nd in the WCC in steals at 7.0 per game, 3rd in assists at 17.0 apg, 4th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3), 2nd in offensive rebounds and 2nd in turnover margin (+1.5)... The Lions lead the league in forcing 14.5 turnovers per game, including a season-high 19 by Saint Mary’s. They turned the ball over just six times while forcing Pepperdine into 12 on Jan. 5. They are also the league leaders in offensive rebound percentage at 35.1%.

UPNEXT

The Lions will head to the Pacific Northwest next week, taking on Gonzaga on Jan. 12 at 6 pm and then Portland on Jan. 14 at 7 pm


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