Road Trip to No. 22 Gaels Up Next

Feb. 15, 2017

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MORAGA, Calif. - LMU men's basketball will travel to Moraga, Calif., for a single-game road trip to take on 22nd-ranked Saint Mary's on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 pm. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and seen on Spectrum SportsNet and Comcast Sports California. Fans can watch the game live at the Bowlero Watch Party. Bowlero Los Angeles (off Lincoln Blvd.) will host the Watch Party in an exclusive area just for Lion fans. The evening includes specials on food and drinks and features $11 unlimited bowling when you mention "LMU." The fun begins at 7 pm.

The Last Meeting
#19 Saint Mary's72
Loyola Marymount60
December 29, 2016
Gersten Pavilion
Another Second Half Push Not Enough Against No. 19 Gaels
As they have shown all season, LMU men's basketball made their opponent earn it, especially with yet another second half push. However, it wasn't enough as the Lions fell to No. 19 Saint Mary's, 72-60, in the West Coast Conference opener on Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion.

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GAME PREVIEW
Date | Time: Thursday, Feb. 16 | 8 pm
Where: McKeon Pavilion | Moraga, CA
Game Preview: LMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | SMC Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
The Match-Up: LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
SMC: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
Live Broadcast: Spectrum SportsNet, CSN California | TheW.tv (out of market)
Radio: KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online
Live Stats: LIVESTATS
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 the week at 12-13 overall and 5-9 in the WCC. The Lions added a six-point win to their resume on Saturday with the 66-60 win over Portland. On the season, the Lions have seen 11 of their games decided in the last 10 seconds of the contest (record of 4-7) and have now played 15 games decided by eight points or less, going 7-8 in those contests. LMU is 3-3 in one-point games, 1-2 in three-point games, the five-point setback against BYU (Dec. 31), a pair of six-point wins in WCC play, a 1-1 in seven-point games and the eight-point setback at BYU on Jan. 28, 85-77.

• Saint Mary's dropped just their second WCC game and third contest overall when they fell at home to No. 1 Gonzaga last Saturday. The Gaels are the best in the league on defense, holding opponent to a mere 56.6 points per game, which ranks second in the nation as of Feb. 12. They are also ranked top-10 nationally in scoring margin (8th), rebound margin (4th), fewest turnovers per game (10th), fewest personal fouls per game (2nd) and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th). Thursday's match-up will be the fourth game against a ranked opponent on the season. The match-up with No. 19 Saint Mary's on Dec. 29, 2016, was the first ranked opponent for the Lions since Feb. 12, 2015 when the Lions face No. 2/3 Gonzaga. The other two match-ups this season have been against Gonzaga, who was ranked fifth in the first meeting and No. 1 last week. The Lions are 4-15 in their last 19 games against ranked opponents.

• This will be the 142nd meeting between LMU and Saint Mary's. The Gaels have won 10 straight in the series and are 47-19 at home against the Lions. In the first meeting of the season, the Lions staged yet another second half push. However, it wasn't enough as the Lions fell 72-60 on Dec. 29 at Gersten Pavilion.Trailing by as many as 11 early, the Lions managed to cut the lead to one with just over 11 minutes to play, 42-41, on a Kelvin Amayo lay-up. However, the efficient Gaels answered with a big three-pointer and the Lions got no closer. Trevor Manuel had a career-high 18 points off the bench, hitting all four of his three-pointers in 22 minutes. Brandon Brown added 11 points for the Lions, who shot just 35.6 percent but generated 19 more shots than the Gaels. The Lions forced Saint Mary's into a season-high 19 turnovers on nine steals and held a 19-8 edge in points off turnovers.

CARDIAC LIONS

• 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.

NUMBERS
• The Lions used 19 steals to create 31 turnovers to earn a 66-60 win over Portland on Feb. 11. The 19 steals is the fourth most in a single game in program history, and the most since the program set the record at Portland on Feb. 9, 1991. It was three shy of the Gersten Pavilion record, which is 22. LMU leads the WCC in steals this season at 7.4 per game... The defense allowed the Lions to gain a 27-14 edge in points off turnovers, the most all season. The Lions shot 37.9 percent in the game while Portland shot 43.2 percent, the first time (in nine games) the Lions won a game in WCC in which their opponents shot better from the field... The 60 points allowed to the Pilots was one of 12 times the Lions have held an opponent under 70 points. They are 9-3 in those games... In addition, Portland was the 13th opponent the Lions held to under 45% shooting in a game, improving to 11-2 in those games. The Lions are 10-1 when shooting better than their opponent and 2-12 when the reverse happens...
• Junior Steven Haney Jr., a 2016 WCC All-Academic Selection and NABC Allstate Good Works team nominee, hit six three-pointers last week, giving him 121 three-pointers in his career, replacing Ennoch Simmons (1985-89) for 11th all-time in LMU history. He is ranked 8th in the WCC with 2.0 three-pointers per game...
• The Lions force a league-high 15.1 turnovers per game and are 3rd in the WCC with a +1.8 turnover margin. They are also 3rd with 3.8 blocks per game. Petr Herman had five blocks against Gonzaga on Feb. 9, equaling the season-high within the WCC this season. He is one of just nine players in LMU history to have five or more in a game, and it has happened six times since 2010. Silvester Kainga set the record with seven on Dec. 2, 1998 against CSU Fullerton...
• The Lions shot 53.1 percent from the field on the Feb. 2 win over USD, hitting over 50 percent for the sixth time this season. They went better than 50% 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. LMU shot 50 percent or better just twice all of last year.

DEPTH
• The Lions get the most out of their roster, using all 12 active players four games against BYU, USD, USF and Gonzaga. They used "just" 10 against Portland with Kelvin Amayo not in uniform due to leg injury and Mattias Markusson not played, coaches' decision. They used 11 players in the win over Pacific on Jan. 26. They have had 11 different starting line-ups, and went back to the third starting line-up of the season against GU and Portland, starting Brandon Brown, Steven Haney, Buay Tuach, Shamar Johnson and Petr Herman...
• 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 seven times, the other three include Dec. 31 against BYU, on Jan. 5 against Pepperdine and again Jan. 12 against Gonzaga...
• Herman was a bright point for the Lions in getting the start on Thursday, scoring eight points with three rebounds, two assits, a steal and career-best five blocks. They have had nine different players lead them in assists and seven different Lions have led the team in scoring. Jovanovic led the Lions with 13 rebounds against USF, the most by a Lion this season. It equalled a career-high for the senior.

SENIORS:
Brandon Brown, Buay Tuach, Stefan Jovanovic, Shamar Johnson and Kelvin Amayo are the five seniors leading the way this season for the Lions. In addition, to his 18-point performance on Feb. 2 against USD where he hit a career-best 4-for-8 from three in leading the Lions in points (18), rebounds (6), assists (6) and steals (2), Brown had his sixth 20-point game of the season with 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting in the win over Pacific. Brown and Tuach led the Lions with 18 points each against Portland.
• Brown leads the way at point, sitting is 11th in scoring (13.8 ppg) and 6th in assists (4.4 apg). He is also 4th in steals per game (1.3), 9th in three-pointer percentage (40.2), 14th in three-pointers made per game (1.6), and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9). Tuach continues to do a little of everything for the Lions. He ranks 18th in scoring (12.1 ppg), 10th in shooting (52.7%), 3rd in three-point shooting (42.7%), and 3rd in steals (1.4 spg). He is on a career-setting pace, he had 96 points all of 2015-16. He has 291 through 25 games this year.
• Senior Shamar Johnson has been a consistent force in the paint for the Lions. The Pensacola, Fla., native has become a leader for the Lions and is having his best season with 7.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He is 11th with 1.7 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 8.6 ppg and 5.0 rpg. He is ranked 20th in the WCC in rebounding, ranked 6th in offensive rebounds at 2.2 and 8th 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 17.6 minutes a game he is averaging 4.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.57 apg, and 0.91 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.

COMING UP

It is 2017 Homecoming Week. A full schedule of activities will take place, including a special Community Lunch game between women's hoops and Saint Mary's on Thursday. Game time is 12 noon. That evening is the Bowlero Watch Party for when men's basketball takes on No. 22 Saint Mary's on the road. Then on Friday, the 2017 induction ceremonies of the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame will take place, followed on Saturday by the Homecoming game itself on Feb. 18 against rival Pepperdine. Don't miss it. The activities start with the annual Tailgate Party at 11 am. For more information, visit LMULions.com.

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