Gersten Pit-stop Thursday Against USD

Brandon Brown hit his second game winner on Saturday.
Jan. 18, 2017

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LOS ANGELES - LMU men's basketball will make a quick pitstop at Gersten Pavilion Thursday, taking on San Diego as West Coast Conference play continues. Tip-off is slated for 7 pm on Spectrum SportsNet. Both teams are coming off big wins and the game is the annual Loyolan Bobblehead night and is sponsored by Playa Vista Runway. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.

The Last Meeting
San Diego61
Loyola Marymount64
March 4, 2016
Las Vegas, NV
Defense Paces Lions to Tourney Win
LMU men's basketball turned to its defense to open the 2016 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Championships on Friday, using a full court press for most the game to claim a 64-61 victory over San Diego at the Orleans Arena.

Date | Time: Thursday, Jan. 19 | 7 pm (PT)
Where: Gersten Pavilion | Los Angeles, CA
GAME PREVIEW: LMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | USD Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Live Broadcast: Spectrum SportsNet, ROOT Northwest, ROOT Rocky Mountain, CSN+ | (out-of-market)
RADIO: KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online
Live Stats: StatBroadcast | GAMETRACKER


• The senior led Lions continue their season defined as the Cardiac Lions as they enter the week at 9-8 overall and 2-4 in the WCC. The Lions had their fifth one-point decision in the last nine match-ups on Jan. 14, defeating Portland 79-78 as Brandon Brown's reverse lay-in with five seconds proved to be the winner. Nine of LMU's last 14 games have been decided in the last 10 seconds of the game (record of 4-5). The Lions are 5-5 in games decided by less than seven points, going 3-2 in one-point games, 1-2 in three-point games, the five-point setback against BYU and the seven-point win over Southern Utah.

• San Diego improved to 9-9 on the season and 2-4 in the WCC on Saturday with an 88-75 win over BYU in San Diego. The three-pointer has driven the Toreros improvement this season as they have hit 158 on the season, led by Olin Carter III 59 on the season. Carter and Brett Bailey lead the Toreros with 17.1 ppg. Bailey also leads the team in rebounds at 6.9 per game. Like the Lions, they have seen their share of close ones, especially in conference. Their four setbacks have been by a total of 24 points.

• This will be the 94th in the series between San Diego and LMU. The teams have solidified the home court edge in recent meetings with the Lions winning the last three in Gersten Pavilion and San Diego taking the last four at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Lions won the last meeting of the series last year, a neutral match-up in the first round of the WCC Championships. The Lions pulled out a 64-61 win thanks to 20 points from Brandon Brown, who went 10-for-10 from the free throw line in that win.


* The Lions are 9-8, 1-4 on the season after splitting their Pacific Northwest roadtrip last week, defeating Portland in yet another buzzer-beater on Saturday. Here is a look at some of the latest buzzer beaters from 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.
  • Jan. 14 - LMU 79, Portland 78 - Down five with 55 seconds to play, the Lions forced back-to-back turnovers, got a jumper from Brandon Brown, an offensive put-back by Kelvin Amayo, the game-winner lay-up from Brown with five seconds left and a block by Shamar Johnson at the buzzer to pull out the win.

• DEPTH: The Lions get the most out of their 12 active players, using their 10th starting line-up on Saturday against Portland. The Lions used their eighth starting line-up against Santa Clara with Munis Tutu earning his first start of the season and Petr Herman starting at center. They went to their ninth line-up with Buay Tuach returning to the line-up and starting with Brown, Johansson, Johnson and Herman. On Saturday, the Lions' went smaller, starting Brown, Johansson, Tuach, Steve Haney Jr. at the four and Shamar Johnson at the five... The Lions used "just" just nine players on Saturday against Portland, just the second time they have used less than 10 in a game. They used nine players against No. 19 Saint Mary's on Dec. 29. They used all 12 players on Dec. 31 against BYU, on Jan. 5 against Pepperdine and again Thursday against Gonzaga... 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. Six different Lions have led them in rebounding, including Manuel's career-best seven against BYU. Stefan Jovanovic led the Lions in assists against Gonzaga, becoming the sixth player to lead the Lions in assists.

• SENIORS: Brandon Brown, Buay Tuach, Stefan Jovanovic, Shamar Johnson and Kelvin Amayo are the five seniors leading the way this season for the Lions. Brown leads the way at point, sitting is 14th in scoring (13.4 ppg) and 7th in assists (4.8 apg). He is also 10th in steals per game (1.06) and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2).

• Senior Buay Tuach continues to do a little of everything for the Lions, leading the Lions with those 19 points against Gonzaga, adding four rebounds. He followed that with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a pair of big steals against Portland. He ranks 20th in scoring (11.9 ppg), 11th in shooting (52.6%), 12th in assists (2.8 apg), 4th in steals (1.31 spg) and 15th in three-point percentage (41.0%).

• Senior Shamar Johnson returned to the line-up after missing the non-conference finale and the WCC opener. He returned by scoring 10 points with six rebounds and a career-best six assists against BYU. He had 10 points and three rebounds against Pepperdine and went for 12 points and eight rebounds against Santa Clara. He led the Lions with a career-equalling nine rebounds in win over Portland, adding 11 points. The Pensacola, Fla., native has become a leader for the Lions and is having his best season with 8.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg. He is 20th in the WCC in rebounds, 15th in shooting percentage (49.1%) and 8th with 1.9 offensive rebounds per game.

• Rounding out the LMU senior class is a pair of transfers. Stefan 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 10 of the last 14 games. He ranks 25th in scoring (10.5 ppg), 15th in rebounds (5.3) and 8th in shooting at 57.0 percent. He is also ranked 3rd in offensive rebounds at 2.7 and 8th in blocks at 0.94. 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 18.3 minutes a game he is averaging 5.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.56 apg, and 0.81 spg. He had nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal against Santa Clara, and had a big offensive put-back in the final 30 seconds to help Lions in comeback win over Portland.

• In the post, the Lions are outscoring opponents 580 to 459 in points in the paint the first 17 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. They are 8-4 when scoring more points in the paint than their opponent. They outscored Portland 36-32 in the paint.

• The 56 points allowed to Santa Clara was the eighth time this season the Lions have held an opponent under 70 points. They improved to 7-1 in those games. In addition, they held the Broncos to 36.8 percent from the field. They then held Portland to 42.1 percent shooting, the ninth and 10th opponent the Lions held to under 45% shooting in a game, improving to 8-2 in those games. The Lions are 8-1 when shooting better than their opponent, 8-1 when out-rebounding them and 7-1 when scoring more 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. The Lions went over 50 percent for the fifth time on the season with a 52.6% clip against Portland. LMU shot 50 percent or better just twice all of last year.

• Another key in the Lions' eight 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). They were +6 against both Santa Clara and Portland, improving to 8-1 on the season when they out-rebound their opponent. Against UIW, LMU held a 43-30 edge on the glass and held a 21-7 advantage in second chance points. They are 7-2 when holding an edge in second chance points, outscoring Gonzaga 11-10. They outscored Santa Clara 7-5.


The game against San Diego is a brief one-game stop at home before heading on the road for the rematch with Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 21 in the WCC Game of the Week. Action begins at 12:30 on Spectrum SportsNet with the pregame show This Week in the WCC. Then tip-off is set for 1 pm. The Lions will return home on Thursday, Jan. 26 to take on Pacific.

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