Lions Host USF for Thursday Senior Day
Final home game of the season key WCC match-up and will honor Lions’ five seniors.
LOS ANGELES - It is the last week of the regular season in the West Coast Conference and LMU men’s basketball (13-14, 6-10) will host San Francisco (19-10, 9-7) on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 pm in the final home game of the 2016-17 season. It is Senior Day and the Lions will honor five seniors wrapping up their career at LMU - Kelvin Amayo, Brandon Brown, Shamar Johnson, Stefan Jovanovic and Buay Tuach. The game can be seen on TheW.tv and heard at KXLU 88.9 FM. The game is sponsored by OneWest Bank.
|Date | Time:||Thursday, Feb. 23 | 7 pm|
|Where:||Gersten Pavilion | Los Angeles, CA|
|Game Preview:||LMU Game Notes | USF Game Notes|
|The Match-Up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
USF: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|Radio:||KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online|
|Live Stats:||GAMETRACKER | StatBroadcast|
|GameDay Info:||GAMEDAY CENTRAL | BUY TICKETS | COMING TO LMU|
THE MATCH-UP• The Lions have been led all season by their five seniors, who have combined to play 338 games at the NCAA Division I level. All five were transfers brought in by third-year head coach Mike Dunlap to build the foundation of the program. Their tenure at LMU can be defined as Cardiac Lions, entering the week having played over have their games down to the final minutes. 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 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.
• San Francisco is 19-10 in the first year under Head Coach Kyle Smith, sitting at 9-7 in WCC play. They are coming off a road win at Portland last Saturday, 65-51. The Dons are 11-4 at home, going 6-3 in conference play, while sitting at 4-5 on the road (3-4 in the WCC). Senior Ronnie Boyce leads the Dons at 13.3 points per game. The Dons are ranked 34th in the nation in three-point field goals per game, hitting 9.3 per game. They are also 13th in three-point attempts (745 on the season), 21st in three-pointers made (269), and 57th in scoring defense, holding teams to 67.0 ppg.
• This will be the 154th all-time meeting in the series. LMU swept the season series a year ago and the Dons won the first meeting this season, 74-64, on Feb. 4 in San Francisco. It was a game that was hectic from the beginning - it featured 36 turnovers (18 by both teams), 38 fouls (20 by USF) and 19 missed free throws. The missed free throws once again hurt the Lions as they managed to get 20 trips to the charity stripe but hit just eight (40 percent). The Lions also struggled from the field, hitting just 38 percent on the night while USF hit 50.9 percent. Buay Tuach was the only Lion (11-12, 4-8) in double figures with 16 points while Stefan Jovanovic had eight points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The rebounding total equaled a career-high and set a single-game high for the Lions on the season. Boyce led USF (17-8, 7-5) with 16 points. McCarthy added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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.
• Brandon Brown, Buay Tuach, Stefan Jovanovic, Shamar Johnson and Kelvin Amayo are the five seniors leading the way this season for the Lions. In a career that saw him help lead Hawaii to a win in the NCAA tournament a year ago, the transfer Jovanovic is leader with 105 games played in his career. Amayo, who earned a sixth-year by the NCAA this season, has played in 67 games. Junior college transfers Brown, Johnson, and Tuach all joined the Lions a year ago and have played in 58, 56 and 52 games, respectively…
• Brown leads the way at point, sitting is 10th in scoring (13.7 ppg), 6th in assists (4.3 apg), and 4th in steals per game (1.3). He shot 4-for-5 from three against Pepperdine and jumped five spots to 6th in three-pointer percentage (42.3). He is 12th in three-pointers made per game (1.7), 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 (11.9 ppg), 9th in shooting (52.1%), 3rd in three-point shooting (43.3%), and 3rd in steals (1.3 spg). He could be considered most-improved player in the WCC this season. A year ago, he had 96 points while hitting 34.8 percent from the field (32-for-92) and 32.7 percent from three (17-for-52). This season, he has scored 309 points through 27 games this year, hitting 113-for-217 from the field and 41-for-71 from three...
• 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 7.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He has averaged 21.5 minutes per game in his two-year career, going for 6.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg...
• 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 setting career bests in points (8.3 ppg), rebounds (4.9 rpg) and assists (26). Within the WCC, he is ranked 6th in offensive rebounds at 2.1 and 10th in blocks at 0.9. 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 17.5 minutes a game he is averaging 4.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.64 apg, and 0.92 spg. He is ranked 9th in the WCC in steals. 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.
• Junior Steven Haney Jr., a 2016 WCC All-Academic Selection and NABC Allstate Good Works team nominee, tied a career-record with seven three-pointers against Pepperdine, giving him 129 three-pointers in his career, replacing Ennoch Simmons (1985-89) for 11th all-time in LMU history. He needs five more to equal Ben Ammerman (1994-98) for 10th all-time. He hit 73 three-pointers last season, which ranked 8th all-time in a single season at LMU, and he has 56 this season, which is ranked 19th. He is ranked 7th in the WCC with 2.1 three-pointers per game, scoring 9.2 points per game on the season...
• Haney’s seven three-pointers was part of a team collective 16 three-pointers against the Waves. LMU finished 16-for-28 from three on the game, hitting 57.1 percent. It was the most since the Lions hit 19 against Chaminade at the Maui Invitational on Nov. 25, 1990. It is the third most in program history as the Lions set the mark with 21 against Michigan in the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 20, 1990...
• 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. They scored a season best 27 points off turnovers against the Pilots. LMU had nine steals against Pepperdine, leading to a 21-10 edge in points off turnovers. The Lions 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...
• In the last two wins, the Lions held Portland to 60 points and Pepperdine to 61. It was the 12th and 13th time the Lions have held an opponent under 70 points. They are 10-3 in those games... In addition, Pepperdine was the 14th opponent the Lions held to under 45% shooting in a game, improving to 12-2 in those games. The Lions are 11-1 when shooting better than their opponent, hitting 52.7 percent against the Waves while holding them to 36.5 percent...
• The Lions force a league-high 14.9 turnovers per game. They forced SMC into 13 on Thursday while committing just nine. The Lions are 2nd in the WCC with a +1.7 turnover margin. They are also 3rd with 3.8 blocks per game and 2nd in offensive rebounds with 11.0 per game...
• Petr Herman had five blocks against Gonzaga on Feb. 9, equaling the season-high within the WCC this season. Since being inserted into the starting line-up against Gonzaga (last four games), he has had nine blocks and is now ranked 13th in the WCC with 0.6 bpg. 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 52.7 percent shooting against Pepperdine was the sixth time the Lions have hit over 50 percent 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.
COMING UPThe Lions will end the 2016-17 regular season at Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 pm. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and seen on TheW.tv.
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