Feb. 20, 2013
The Last Meeting
January 19, 2013
San Francisco, CA
Offense Never Arrives in San Francisco
When LMU got ready to go to their game against San Francisco, and the bus wouldn't start, it was a sign for things to come. The Lions caught shuttle vans to the game, but both offenses never truly showed up as they combined to shoot just 32 percent. But USF had a second half run and then held on for a 62-53 win on Saturday afternoon in West Coast Conference play.
Interactive Game Notes | GameDay Central |LMU on Facebook | LMU on Twitter
LOS ANGELES -- The recent heated rivalry between LMU and San Francisco resumes on Thursday, Feb. 21 when the Dons return the series to Gersten Pavilion for a 7 pm tip-off. In the last meeting at Gersten Pavilion between the two, the Lions netted 60 points in the second half for a last second victory. In the first meeting this season, once again the game came down to the final minutes. The game will be on the WCC Digital Network and on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions are 8-18 overall, 1-12 in the WCC after falling to Saint Mary's, 61-50, on Thursday. In the Lions' current 10-game skid, seven of the setbacks have been by single digits (all except the two Gonzaga games and SMC). 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 20.4 points per game, ranking second in the WCC and 13th nationally (as of Feb. 17). He has gone for 75 the last three 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-17 in eight other statistical categories in the WCC, including rebounds (17th), assists (7th) and steals (4th). 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 10-game skid, the Lions have shot a combined 36.6 percent (191-521) from the field, including 33 percent against Pepperdine despite out shooting 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). It's 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 48-for-180 from three (26.7 percent ) and are now ranked tied for 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 San Francisco (they have 12 scholarship players on the roster in 2012-13). Ayodeji Egbeyemi, who after 25 games still sits 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. He is out the rest of the season. This coming right when the Lions looked to be getting some help, as 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. It was 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. 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).
INSIDE THE GAME
LMU and San Francisco will meet for the 145th time on Thursday, the second longest running series in LMU program history. No series in recent history has been as close as the one with USF. Starting in the first full season under Head Coach Max Good, the teams have played nine times with the combined score sitting at 652-632 in favor of the Dons, that is a difference of 2.2 points per game. Here is a look at the last six meetings:
|Jan. 27, 2011: USF 61-60
|| Michael Williams hit three-pointer with a minute left to erase 17-point second half deficit.
|Feb. 26, 2011: @USF 77-75
||Doolin hit only shot of game on a three with 49 seconds left and Lions miss 3 shots in final seconds.
|Dec. 31, 2011: LMU 77-76
||Ireland hits a runner with 1.6 seconds left in overtime for win as Dons erase 19-pt deficit to send it to OT.
|Feb. 4, 2012: @LMU 90-88
||Lions hit 10 three's in 2nd half to erase 16-point deficit in final 7:30 as Drew Viney hits runner in final min.
|Mar. 2, 2012: USF 67-60
||A quarterfinal match-up of the WCC's for the 2nd time in 3 years, Dons hit 11 3's in a game that had 11 leads/ties.
|Jan. 19, 2013: @USF 62-53
||See below - "The First Meeting"
The game on Thursday is sponsored by Greek Life, the WCC, ROAR, and Campus Development Services. It will feature the final Pregame Tailgate Party of the season starting at 5:30 p.m. Kuumba Beatz will perform at halftime and for ROAR members and Greek Life students, the give-away is a special LMU "Hood"ie.
THE FIRST MEETING
When LMU got ready to go to their game against San Francisco on Jan. 19, and the bus wouldn't start, it was a sign for things to come. The Lions caught shuttle vans to the game, but both offenses never truly showed up as they combined to shoot just 32 percent. But USF had a second half run and then held on for a 62-53 win... LMU finished hitting just 28.8 percent from the field while USF was just a tick better at 33.3 percent... The teams combined to have 27 turnovers, with USF holding a 22-4 edge in points off 14 LMU turnovers... Cole Dickerson led all scorers with 18 points while Anthony Ireland, despite just one shot in the first half, led the Lions with 13 points... The Lions hit a season-low five first half field goals, didn't have their first assist until 9:51 to play in the game, started 1-for-11 from three and leading scorer Ireland had just one field goal attempt through 20 minutes... Despite all that, the Lions found themselves in a position to come from behind. Trailing 44-30, the Lions got their first assist with 9:51 to play, sparking a 10-0 run that put them down just 44-40 after an Ireland jumper... Ayodeji Egbeyemi hit the Lions second three-pointer to cut it to 52-47 with 3:26 to play and the lead would get to three, 55-52, on an English three-point play with 1:56 on the clock. However, the Lions offense would disappear again and they would not get another field goal as USF hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch.
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 92 games with 85 starts entering the San Francisco game. He has 531 points, 97 assists and 44 steals to lead the Lions in 2012-13, giving him 1,419 points (ranked 13th all-time at LMU), 360 assists (8th all-time) and 133 steals (tied for 13th all-time with Hank Gathers) in his career. Ireland needs 31 points to crack the season top-20 at LMU. No player has cracked the season scoring top-20 since Terrell Lowery's 675 points in 1991-92. Ireland 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 36.9 this season.
Due to the Lions' short bench, players have been asked to step-in for the Lions. Freshman Marin Mornar earned his first start against USD and went 27 minutes, scoring five points with four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Since that start, Mornar, who is averaging 9.2 minutes per game on the season, is averaging 19 minutes per game, 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Back in the starting line-up against Pepperdine, he went for five points, seven rebounds with an assist in 20 minutes. He had five rebounds in 21 minutes in the start against SMC on Saturday. Walk-on Taylor Walker has provided big minutes at the point for the Lions, and with the injury to Egbeyemi, earned his first career start. He played a career-best 30 minutes with three points and four rebounds with an assist. The fifth-year senior who is in his second season with the Lions, is averaging more than 12.5 minutes a game in conference play after playing just 11 minutes total in non-conference. Another walk-on, Adam Drexler, is also getting into the act, going just under 10 minutes a game the last three games, getting a steal and a rebound late in the game against Pepperdine and then adding two rebounds in eight minutes on Saturday. Alex Osborne has made 16 starts since filling in for Godwin Okonji when he had his emergency surgery. He is averaging 4.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.
The only scholarship senior on the Lions' roster this season is fifth-year forward Ashley Hamilton, who has been dubbed the Mayor, and for good reason. Hamilton has been a part of the current coaching staff's revival of the LMU program from the beginning. Joining the program the same season Head Coach Max Good took over, Hamilton has now played in 105 games, making 86 starts as he continues his final campaign. Showing signs of dominance every season, Hamilton has been dealt with multiple injuries, including missing 12 games last season due to a foot injury. Completely recovered, Hamilton is a team captain and with 15 points at San Diego on Jan. 16, he became the 34th Lions to score 1,000 points in his career. He is averaging 13.2 ppg and a team-best 6.6 rpg after going for his sixth career double-double on Feb. 16 against SMC, scoring 13 points with 11 rebounds. He enters the San Francisco game with 1,078 points and 588 rebounds and is the 14th Lion to earn 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. Hamilton is now ranked 16th in rebounds, 14th with 311 made free throws and tied for 16th with 54 blocks.
- GO LIONS -