Feb. 15, 2013
The Last Meeting
|St. Mary's (Ca)||74
January 5, 2013
Short-Handed Lions Fall in WCC Battle
It was a typical West Coast Conference showdown as LMU and Saint Mary's put on a show in the first WCC Game of the Week. It was the Gaels' three-pointer and a deeper bench that gave them a cushion they wouldn't let go of late, earning a 74-61 win on Saturday.
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LOS ANGELES -- It has become one of the largest events during the LMU men's basketball season, its the annual LMU Family Weekend on the Loyola Marymount campus, and once again a Saturday basketball game in February will be part of the action. This time its Saint Mary's who visits the Lions on Saturday, Feb. 16 for a 4 pm tip-off. Action begins with the Pregame Tailgate Party in the Burns Rec Center Parking Lot starting at 2 pm. The game will be on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions are 8-17 overall, 1-11 in the WCC after falling at Pepperdine, 52-50, on Thursday. In the Lions' current nine-game skid, seven of the setbacks have been by single digits (all except the two Gonzaga games). The seven have come by a combined 36 points, an average of five per game, including a one-point overtime setback to San Diego and the two-point heartbreaker to Pepperdine. The Lions are 1-7 in games decided by less than 10 points in WCC play.
Anthony Ireland continues to pace the Lions at 20.5 points per game, ranking second in the WCC and 13th nationally (as of Feb. 10). He was the Lions only scorer in double figures the last two games, going for 30 against Gonzaga, matching a career-high and earning an ovation from the Gonzaga fans when he left the game, and 26 against Pepperdine. He is the first Lion since Brandon Worthy in 2006 to have multiple 30-point games in one season. Ireland is on pace to post the highest scoring average since Terrell Lowery led the WCC with 26.0 ppg in 1992. In addition to scoring, he ranks in the top-16 in eight other statistical categories in the WCC, including rebounds (16th), assists (7th) and steals (5th). Ireland has been featured in some multimedia segments the past couple weeks, check them out:
- WCC This Week Segment via YouTube.com/WCCSports
- LMU Magazine inside look "Ice Man" via Magazine.LMU.edu
All about shooting: The Lions have had five games when hitting better than 50 percent from three and hold a 4-1 record in those games. They did it in their WCC win over the Broncos, hitting 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) from long range, going 6-for-8 in the second half. Since then it has been a struggle. During the nine-game skid, the Lions have shot a combined 37.3 percent (177-475) from the field, including 33 percent against Pepperdine despite outshooting the Waves by 17 shots. The streak includes a 28.3 percent clip against USF on Jan. 19 and a 25 percent outing on Jan. 31 against the Zags (the lowest since shooting 21.2 percent at Portland on Jan. 21, 2010). Its been even more of a struggle from long range, as the Lions where ranked fourth in the WCC in three-point shooting following the Santa Clara game at 37.5 percent. In the nine games since, the Lions have shot just 45-for-171 from three (26.3 percent ) and are now ranked eighth at 33.3 percent.
SHORT BENCH: The Lions are have been playing with just eight scholarship players during WCC play, and remain at eight entering the game against Saint Mary's (they have 12 scholarship players on the roster in 2012-13). Chase Flint (who ranked seventh in the WCC in minutes played at 32.6 mpg and eighth in assists with 4.29 apg, while averaging 6.6 points per game) returned to action against Pepperdine, his first minutes since the first WCC game of the season on Jan. 3 vs. BYU. He missed the last 10 games due to a stress reaction in his left shin, becoming the second Lion starter to miss games due to injury/illness. Ayodeji Egbeyemi, who after 25 games is fourth in the league in minutes at 33.6 per game, 24th in points (10.6 ppg) and 9th in rebounds (6.0 rpg), left the game against Pepperdine with about nine minutes to play with a groin injury. As of Friday, he is likely out against Saint Mary's and if tests reveal a tear, he will be out the rest of the season. The Lions bench is already thin due to redshirts to sophomore C.J. Blackwell (will apply for a medical redshirt at the end of the year), transfer Ben Dickinson (due to NCAA transfer rules) and freshman Taj Adams (coaches' decision).
AT THE POINT
Junior Anthony Ireland entered the 2012-13 season on the Lou Henson Player of the Year watch list and was named to the Lou Henson Award Preseason All-American Team. He also was named Preseason All-WCC and as a junior is one of the most experienced players on the LMU roster, not missing a game since he arrived LMU, playing 91 games with 84 starts entering the Saint Mary's game. He has 512 points, 95 assists and 42 steals to lead the Lions in 2012-13, giving him 1,400 points (ranked 13th all-time at LMU), 358 assists (8th all-time) and 131 steals (14th all-time) in his career. He became the 33rd Lion to score 1,000 in a career in the game against North Texas and earned his fourth career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds at SMU. He had his 26th game with at least 20 points, going for 26 against Pepperdine. The Lions are 14-12 in games when he goes over 20 points. He was the only Lion to play every game last season and was second in the WCC in minutes played at 36.5 per game and he is averaging a league best 37.0 this season. The first-team All-WCC and NABC All-District selection was second in the WCC in scoring at 16.1 points per game and fourth with 4.9 assists per contest. He earned two WCC Player of the Week honors as a sophomore and was the second Lion since 1998 to earn a double-double with points and assists.
INSIDE THE GAME
LMU and Saint Mary's will match-up for the 133rd time in program history during LMU's 2013 Family Weekend. The annual weekend is a chance for parents to come on campus and be part of all that LMU has to offer. Activities will begin mid-day on Friday and will conclude in the early afternoon on Sunday. Included in the activities are a brunch with college deans, a Study Abroad presentation, an LMU student play and of course the Lions basketball game against Saint Mary's and the Pregame Tailgate. The action begins with the tailgate party at 2 pm. LMU Family Relations, the WCC, the ROAR and University Relations are sponsoring the game, which will include the LMU Cloth Grocery Bag giveaway, a special halftime performance and the national anthem performance by the LMU Pep Band. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will broadcast the game live, and as always, KXLU 88.9 FM airing the game live with Jesse Kass.
THE FIRST MEETING
It was a typical West Coast Conference showdown as LMU and Saint Mary's put on a show in the first WCC Game of the Week on Jan. 5. It was the Gaels' three-pointer and a deeper bench that gave them a cushion they wouldn't let go of late, earning a 74-61... The Gaels hit eight three-pointers, three in a row to straddle half time, creating the cushion they needed to shake the Lions. Saint Mary's finished hitting 36.4 percent from three, while the Lions hit 4-for-14. SMC would hit 50 percent from the field overall, compared to LMU's 41.4 percent. LMU would hit 9-for-10 from the charity stripe while SMC went 14-for-17... Anthony Ireland led four Lions in double figures with 16 points. Ashley Hamilton had 15 points, while Ayodeji Egbeyemi and Alex Osborne had 10 each. Reigning Player of the Year Matthew Dellavedova led all scorers with 17... The first half featured nine ties and six lead changes, the last coming at the buzzer when Jordan Giusti hit a 35-foot bank shot to give Saint Mary's a 33-30 lead at the break... Hamilton's three-point play with 15:27 to play cut the lead to one, 42-41... Saint Mary's then went on an 8-0 run as the Lions cut the lead to seven several occasions just to have SMC answer.
- GO LIONS -