Jan. 22, 2012
For LMU men's basketball team, West Coast Conference play began with five of their first seven on the road. That stretch comes to a close on Monday, Jan. 23, when they travel to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos at the Leavey Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., as the Lions look to extend their road win streak to five. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU won its fourth straight conference game on the road on Thursday, defeating BYU in Provo, UT, 82-68. Anthony Ireland scored a career high 27 points with five assists and five steals, hitting 7-for-9 from the field and 12-for-14 from the charity stripe, all in the final four minutes of the game. The Lions are 11-8 overall and 4-2 in the WCC.
The Lions are now 6-2 on the road this season, winning four in a row on the road for the first time since the 1990-91 season and have matched the 2009-10 Lions for the most road wins since that 90-91 season. The Lions have won their first four road games in conference play for the first time since the Lions went 14-0 in league play in the 1987-88 season.
Drew Viney returned to the line-up on Dec. 27 against Vanguard and scored a game-high 29 points with eight rebounds. He had his 11th career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Waves. He has played nine games on the season and is averaging 15.9 points per contest after going for 21 points and six rebounds at BYU. Viney is one of four Lions in double figures for the season. Ireland is third in the WCC with 15.4 points per game, going for at least 20 points six times this season. He is averaging 18.7 points in WCC games. Hamilton returned to the line-up against San Diego on Jan. 7 for the first time since injuring his foot on Nov. 19, going for 16 points and seven rebounds against the Toreros. In seven games, he is averaging 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds with 10 steals. Junior Jarred DuBois, who has missed the last three games due to a concussion, averages 10.4.
The Lions lead the WCC in free throw percentage, hitting 73.3 percent. The Lions' top-six scorers hit better than 75 percent, including LaRon Armstead's 88.9 percent, which is the second in the conference. He is 48-for-54 on the season after hitting all six attempts against BYU. Jarred DuBois leads the team at 92.0 percent (23-for-25 - but doesn't qualify for WCC rankings). Drew Viney and Ashley Hamilton are hitting 79.5 and 75.7 percent from the line. Anthony Ireland is 14th in the WCC at 76.4 percent.
LMU is tops in the league in three-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 28.8 percent from long range overall and 23.8 percent in WCC games. The Lions have held 10 teams under 30 percent for the game, including BYU's 2-for-25 (8 percent) on Thursday. In the last two games, the Lions have allowed just 4-for-38 from the three-point line as they also held Gonzaga to 15.4 percent (2-for-13) the game prior. In non-conference they held UCLA to 13.3 percent and North Texas' to 15.8 percent.
The Lions have played in three overtime games in a season for the first time since 2007-08, winning all three. It is the first time in program history the Lions have won three overtime games in a single season.
The Lions are 3-2 in their last five games against ranked opponents. They started the season with a 69-58 win over No. 17 UCLA and with the win over No. 22 Saint Louis, they defeated a ranked-opponent in consecutive chances for the first time since the 1989-90 NCAA Tournament. The Lions fell to No. 21 Gonzaga, their third ranked opponent on the season, the most since the 2008-09 season when they played five.
Injuries once again have forced change in the Lions starting five as the Lions have started nine different line-ups and have played just one game with all 10 of the top-10 players available to play (Jan. 7 vs. San Diego). Junior Jarred DuBois missed the last three games after suffering a concussion against San Diego on Jan. 7. As for Monday, he was cleared to begin practice on Saturday and will be a game time decision... Junior Ashley Hamilton, who was the Lions' leading scorer after three games, played 16 minutes against Harvard, scoring eight points before he left with a injury to his right foot. He missed 12 games before returning against San Diego on Jan. 7... Senior Drew Viney missed 10 of the Lions' first 12 games after a stress fracture in his foot the week prior to the start of the season in October. He returned to the line-up full-time with a 29-point, 8-rebound performance against Vanguard on Dec. 27... LMU's top-seven players missed a combined 66 games in 2010-11 as the Lions featured 16 different starting line-ups. They have missed a combined 28 games so far in 2011-12... Prior to the team's departure to San Francisco Dec. 31, redshirt sophomore Edgar Garibay asked for and was granted his release from the LMU men's basketball program. Garibay played 37 games in three season, earning a medical redshirt in his freshman season in 2009-10 after tearing his ACL.
Longtime rivals Santa Clara and LMU will meet for the first time in the 2011-12 season and for the 136th time overall. It will be a meeting of strength vs. strength once again for the Lions as their top three-point defense will face one of the best three-point shooters in league history in senior Kevin Foster, who leads the league in scoring at 17.8 ppg, hitting 59-for-158 (37.3 percent) from three-point range. The Broncos lead the series 83-52 after sweeping all three games a year ago, including a 76-68 win in the Zappos.com WCC Championships Quarterfinals in Las Vegas on Mar. 5, 2011. Just nine days prior to that, the teams meet in the final weekend of WCC play and took 50 minutes for the game to be decided in Santa Clara. The Broncos used a 37-for-42 effort from the free throw line (88 percent) to earn a grueling 94-88 double overtime win on Feb. 24, 2011. Drew Viney had 30 points and 11 rebounds in the setback. Viney also had a double-double in the final meeting in Las Vegas, going for 18 and 11. Anthony Ireland had 21 points in the double overtime setback and then went for a then career-high 24 points at the WCC tournament.
AT THE POINT
Sophomore Anthony Ireland started the season scoring 22 or more points in four of five games, while averaging 21 points per game in that stretch dating back to the Lions' finale against Santa Clara last season. He is one of two Lions to play every game this season and he is second in the WCC in minutes played at 35.9 per game. He enters the week ranked third in the WCC in scoring at 15.9 points per game after going for a career-high 27 points in the road win at BYU. He finished the game with five assists and a career-best five steals to go with his best shooting night as a Lion. He finished 7-for-9 from the field and 12-for-14 from the charity stripe. He enters the Santa Clara game third in assists in the WCC at 5.16 per game. He became just the second Lion since 1998 to earn a double-double with points and assists when he did it against Vanguard (14 pts, 10 assists). He had 21 assists in the final two non-conference games, going for a career-high 11 against Morgan State on Dec. 21. According to records, its is the most in back-to-back games since Terrell Lowery in 1990. He now has 193 career assists to rank 20th all-time at LMU. His five steals give him 33 on the season. He averages 1.74 steals per game to rank fourth in the WCC.
Senior LaRon Armstead came off the bench to score 22 points against then #23 Saint Louis, becoming the Lions' senior leader and a mainstay in the Lions' rotation since. He went for double figures in six of seven games before the Morgan State game, and has returned to that form in the last two WCC contests, going for 14 off the bench against No. 21 Gonzaga and then 12 at BYU. He has now played in 94 games for the Lions in his career, scoring 574 points with 264 rebounds. He is fifth on the team with 8.9 points per game while adding 2.9 rebounds, and 10 steals. He went six-for-six from the charity strip against BYU and enters the week ranked second in the WCC in free throw percentage, hitting 48-for-54 (88.9 percent). He also has hit 21 three-pointers, one of six players on the team to hit on average more than one three-pointer per game.
Redshirt senior Drew Viney entered 2011-12 needing just a single point to become the 31st player in LMU history to reach 1,000 career points. After having to miss the first six games due to a stress fracture in his foot, it took exactly 12 seconds in his first game back against Columbia to hit the century mark. Viney knocked down a 12-foot jumper to become the 31st player in school history to reach a 1,000 points. After missing three more games due to soreness in the foot, he returned to the line-up against Vanguard, scoring 29 points with eight rebounds. He went for 19 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th career double-double in the win over Pepperdine, which is ranked tied for 12th at LMU. He now has 1,142 points to rank 21st all-time at LMU after going for 21 on Thursday. He also has 455 rebounds and to crack the top-30 all time at LMU. He needs and 45 to become just the 13th player in LMU history to have 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He is also ranked seventh all-time with 71 blocks, earning seven so far this season. Wyking Jones is ranked sixth with 72 blocks.
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