Lions to Wrap BYU Series on Saturday
LMU heads to Provo, Utah, to complete season series with BYU on Saturday.
Jan. 10, 2014
PROVO, Utah -- Just three weeks into the 2013-14 West Coast Conference season, LMU will wrap-up its second season series, this time with BYU when the Lions travel to Provo, Utah, on Saturday, Jan. 11 for a 6 pm tip-off. Like San Diego on Thursday, the Lions (10-7, 2-3) took the first meeting with the Cougars (10-7, 2-2) just two weeks ago to start the season, 87-76. The game can be seen on BYUtv and TheW.tv, while airing live on KXLU 88.9 FM.
The Lions will complete the regular season series with BYU just three weeks into the young conference campaign, finishing a four-game road swing on Saturday. The Lions fell to San Diego 74-67 on Thursday, with Anthony Ireland leading the Lions with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Ireland fouled out for just the third time in his career and USD hit 20-of-22 free throws in the second half to erase an halftime deficit. Tyler Haws' season-high 35 points led BYU to an 84-72 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday. Kyle Collinsworth nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. This will be the 6th meeting for LMU against BYU under Head Coach Max Good, who is 2-3 against the Cougars.
WELCOME BACK WEEK
INSIDE THE LIONS
Senior Anthony Ireland continues to pace the Lions in all areas of the floor, setting a career-high with 34 points against Santa Clara and then setting the LMU record for career starts with his 110th against San Diego on Jan. 9, just the fourth player to start more than 100 in his career. Against SCU he scored 27 points after halftime and finished 12-for-22 from the field, 10-for-12 from the free throw line while adding seven assists, three rebounds and a steal. He went for 18 against San Diego, hitting 6-for-10 from the field. He is 18-for-32 (56.2 percent) from the field in the last two games. It was his third career game with 30 or more points and his 38th 20-point game. With 324 points (which is ranked 14th nationally as of Jan. 5), 92 assists (13th nationally as of Jan. 5) and 28 steals in 2013-14, Ireland moved ahead of Jim Haderlein for seventh all-time in LMU history with 1,900 career points. He also moved to fourth with 476 career assists and tied with Bo Kimble for sixth with 175 career steals.
The Lions hit 84.6 percent from the free throw line (22-26) at San Francisco on Jan. 2, hitting better than 71 percent in a game 13 times season (going 11-for-15 against USD for 73.3 percent on Thursday). They are second behind Pacific in the WCC overall hitting 76.6 percent on the season, and as of Jan. 5 the Lions ranked 9th in the nation. Free throws played a key role in the last two games as the Lions shot below 78 percent for the first time in five games in the overtime setback to Santa Clara, going 13-for-19 (68.4 percent), while Santa Clara went 24-for-27 (88.9 percent), hitting 22 of 23 in the second half and overtime. San Diego hit 20 of 22 free throws in the second half to overcome a halftime deficit and finished 23-for-29 (79.3%) for the game.
The Lions have had double-digit offensive rebounds in 14 of the 17 games on the season and lead the West Coast Conference with 13.4 per game. They went for 13 offensive boards in outrebounding Santa Clara 41-36 Saturday. 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. 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 third overall in rebounding at 8.0 rpg, and is fourth in the WCC with 2.9 offensive rebounds per game.
The Lions have had more turnovers than their opponents just twice in 17 games this season, giving it away just seven times to open WCC play against the Cougars. They are averaging just 12.24 turnovers per game this season and rank second in the WCC in turnover margin at +1.62. 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.
Freshman Evan Payne led the Lions with 27 points against BYU in the first meeting, posting his second straight career-high (24 points against La Sierra). The point total is tied for the fourth best 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 on Dec. 30 and then 17 on Thursday. Payne now has 250 points on the season and is ranked 15th all-time for freshman scoring in a season. He has scored in double figures in 10 straight games heading into the BYU game, two shy of the freshman record set by teammate Gabe Levin, who went 12 straight to start the season.
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. Heading into game two with BYU, Levin has 120 rebounds and is ranked ninth all-time for a freshman.
Three Lions average double figures, led by senior Anthony Ireland at 19.1 ppg, ranking second in the WCC as of Jan. 10. The next two in double figures are freshman. Evan Payne is 11th in the WCC and second on the team with 14.7 ppg. Fellow freshman Gabe Levin is third on the team and 28th in the WCC at 11.4 ppg. Through 17 games, the Lions are averaging 77.6 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.
Heading into the trip to Provo, Utah, Head Coach Max Good announced that freshman guard Nino Jackson, who has been out since suffering a sevre ankle sprain before the game against UC Riverside on Dec. 2, has informed the coaching staff that he will be taking an indefinate leave of abscence to tend to personal matters in Oklahoma. "Nino is tending to some personal matters back in Oklahoma and we are here to help him any way we can."