Season Series With Toreros Wraps-up Thursday

The Lions head to San Diego to complete series with the Toreros.
Feb. 1, 2017

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. - LMU men’s basketball will wrap-up the season series with San Diego on Thursday when they head to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for a 7 pm tip-off. The Lions continue a three-game road swing in the middle of West Coast Conference play. The game can be seen on TheW.tv and heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.

The Last Meeting
San Diego69
Loyola Marymount62
January 19, 2017
Gersten Pavilion
Defense Can’t Overcome Offensive Struggles
It was one of those nights that baskets were hard to come by for the LMU offense, and despite a defensive effort that forced 18 turnovers, it wasn’t enough to overcome the shooting struggles. The result was a 69-62 setback to San Diego at Gersten Pavilion Thursday night.

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GAME PREVIEW
Date | Time: Thursday, Feb. 2 | 7 pm
Where: Jenny Craig Pavilion | San Diego, CA
Game Preview: LMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | USD Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
The Match-Up: LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
USD: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
Live Broadcast: TheW.tv
Radio: KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online
Live Stats: StatBroadcast | GAMETRACKER
GameDay Info: GAMEDAY CENTRAL | BUY TICKETS | COMING TO LMU

THE MATCH-UP

• Senior led LMU continues their season defined as the Cardiac Lions as they enter Saturday at 10-11 overall and 3-7 in the WCC. Six of their last 13 games have been decided by a point and ten of LMU’s last 18 games have been decided in the last 10 seconds of the contest (record of 4-6). LMU has played 14 games decided by eight points or less, going 6-8 in those contests after the eight-point setback at BYU on Jan. 28, 85-77. LMU is 3-3 in one-point games, 1-2 in three-point games, the five-point setback against BYU (Dec. 31), the 79-73 win over the Tigers on Jan. 26, and 1-1 in seven-point games.

• The San Diego Toreros return home for a pair of games on the week, taking on the Lions Thursday and then 21st-ranked Saint Mary’s on Saturday. The Toreros are 11-11 on the season and 4-6 in WCC play after defeating Portland on the road, 68-52, on Jan. 28. Sophomore guaurd Olin Carter III scored a game-high 24 points in leading the Toreros to their third road win in conference play. Brett Bailey had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Bailey, who leads the team with 16.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg, scored 23 points with nine rebounds in the first meeting against the Lions.

• This will be the 95th overall meeting between LMU and San Diego. The series is dead-even at 47 wins each thanks to USD’s 69-62 win just two weeks ago at Gersten Pavilion. USD has won the last four at Jenny Craig Pavilion. In the first meeting this season, it was one of those nights that baskets were hard to come by for the LMU offense, and despite a defensive effort that forced 18 turnovers, it wasn’t enough to overcome the shooting struggles. The Lions finished the game shooting just 41 percent from the field, hit just 3-for-14 from three and was just 11-for-26 from the free throw line. San Diego finished the game hitting 50 percent from the field, hit 7-for-17 from three (41 percent) and was 18-for-25 from the charity stripe. Kelvin Amayo scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting to lead the Lions. Brandon Brown added 12 points. Brett Bailey led all scorers with 23 points for San Diego (10-9).

INSIDE THE LIONS

• The Lions are 10-11, 3-7 on the season after a split last week. It was the team’s 13th and 14th game decided by eight points or less. 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.
  • Jan. 21 - Santa Clara 64, LMU 63 - Jared Brownridge hit a 25-foot three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to lift the Broncos to the thrilling win.

DEPTH: The Lions get the most out of their 12 active players, using all 12 players against BYU and 11 players in the win over Pacific.They have had 11 different starting line-ups, using the 11th on Thursday, Jan. 19 against San Diego... The Lions used “just” just nine players on Jan. 14 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. In conference they have used all 12 players four times, including Dec. 31 against BYU, on Jan. 5 against Pepperdine and again Jan. 12 against Gonzaga... Freshman Erik Johansson led the Lions against BYU on Jan. 28 with three assists. He is the eighth different player to lead the Lions in assists. They have had seven different Lions led the team in rebounding and scoring.

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 had his sixth 20-point game of the season with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting in the win over Pacific, and Tuach led the Lions with a career-best 21 points with five rebounds and three steals at BYU on Jan. 28.

• Brown leads the way at point, sitting is 13th in scoring (13.9 ppg) and 7th in assists (4.4 apg). He is also 7th in steals per game (1.1) and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0). As for Tuach, he continues to do a little of everything for the Lions. He ranks 20th in scoring (11.9 ppg), 9th in shooting (53.0%), 14th in assists (2.6), 11th in three-point shooting (40.8%), and 4th in steals (1.2 spg). He is on a career-setting pace for all of his key stats.

• 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 went for 12 points and eight rebounds in the win over Santa Clara at home and 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 8.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg. He is 19th in the WCC in rebounds and 7th 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. He is averaging 9.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg. He is also ranked 5th in offensive rebounds at 2.3 and 7th in blocks at 1.0. 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 19.1 minutes a game he is averaging 5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.60 apg, and 0.85 spg. He had nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal against Santa Clara on Jan. 7, and had a big offensive put-back in the final 30 seconds to help Lions in comeback win over Portland.

NUMBERS… Junior Steven Haney Jr., a 2016 WCC All-Academic Selection and NABC Allstate Good Works team nominee, hit a trio of three-pointers to score 11 points against Pacific and three more against BYU for 17 points, giving him 113 three-pointers in his career, ranking 13th all-time in LMU history... Speaking of three pointers, the Lions hit 12 against Pacific, tying the high on the season (they had 12 against UT Arlington on Dec. 22). The game against Pacific was the NABC’s Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers game. During the game, LMU’s student booster club, THE CAGE, committed to donating $50 for every three-pointer made during the game. The Lions made them pay, and for a good cause... The Lions 14 steals against BYU on Jan. 28 was a season-high, and second best in the WCC this season. The 23 forced turnovers was also the most on the season... The 48 second half points against the Tigers was the most in that half on the season. The 79 total points equaled their high in conference games this season, scoring 79 in the win over Portland... The seven blocked shots in the win was the second most on the year. They had nine against UIW on Dec. 17... The 56 points allowed to Santa Clara on Jan. 7 was one of 10 times the Lions have held an opponent under 70 points. They are 7-3 in those games... In addition, they held the Broncos to 36.8 percent from the field in that first meeting. 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 9-1 when shooting better than their opponent, 8-2 when out-rebounding the opponent. They were out-rebounded by Pacific and BYU and are to just 2-9 when the opponent is better on the boards.

• 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.

MORE NUMBERS… The Lions are outscoring opponents 698 to 587 in points in the paint the first 21 games. The best of the season came in a 54-14 edge in points in the paint against UIW... The 48-point win to open the season was tied for the sixth largest in program history, equaling the Lions 78-31 win over San Diego on Dec. 10, 1958... They opened a new season with a win for the sixth straight season, improving to 41-21 in season openers since 1955-56... The Lions scored 57 points in the first 20 minutes against Vanguard, the most in the opening half since the 1991 season... In the second half, LMU held Vanguard to just 17 points, limiting them to just 5-for-35 from the field and 1-for-18 from the three. It was the lowest half by an opponent since the Lions held Seattle to just 11 first half points in an 83-51 win on Nov. 23, 1996... They had 59 rebounds in that game, the most since they had 61 against Pacifica on Nov. 9, 2012.

• The Lions returned seven letterwinners from last year’s 2015-16 squad that finished six games better than the year before at 14-16 overall and 6-12 in the WCC (tied for 7th). The Lions have five seniors on the squad in 2016-17, including All-WCC selection Brandon Brown. Joining Brown for their second year are Shamar Johnson and Buay Tuach. Adding more senior leadership will be Stefan Jovanovic, a transfer from Hawaii who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, and Kelvin Amayo, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Growing into a leadership role on the team is redshirt junior Steven Haney, Jr. He was a WCC First-Team All-Academic selection a year ago and was nominated to the NABC Allstate Good Works team.

COMING UP

• The Lions will finish the road-heavy portion of the WCC schedule when they go to San Francisco on Feb. 4. It will conclude a three-game road swing.

• The Lions will return home for Family Weekend. The precursor to the weekend will be a showdown with Gonzaga on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 pm. The Zags will enter the game as the highest ranked team to ever come to Gersten Pavilion. Then on Saturday, join the Lions for the annual Family Weekend Game Day Experience as the Lions take on Portland at 1 pm. The activities start with the annual Tailgate Party at 11 am. For more information, visit LMULions.com.

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