Nick Stover and the Lions head to Cal Poly.
Feb. 22, 2013
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The Last Meeting
December 4, 2010
Sweet Home Reversal
LMU returned home for the first time in three weeks and posted a 67-48 win over Cal Poly at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday night. It was the second meeting in 10 days between the two as LMU improves to 4-5 on the season while Cal Poly drops to 3-4.
LOS ANGELES -- For the third straight year LMU men's basketball will play in the annual BracketBusters event presented by ESPN. This year's event, which is the 11th and final year of the event and is sponsored by Ramada Worldwide, takes the Lions to Cal Poly to face the Mustangs on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. The Lions fell to Portland State in 2011, 84-75, and defeated Valparaiso, 61-53, in 2012. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions are 8-19 overall, 1-13 in the WCC after falling to San Francisco, 61-59, at the buzzer on Thursday. In the Lions' current 11-game skid, eight of the setbacks have been by single digits (all except the two Gonzaga games and SMC). The eight have come by a combined 38 points, an average of just under five per game, including a one-point overtime buzzer beater to San Diego, the buzzer-beater to USF, and the pair of last-second setbacks to Pepperdine. The Lions are 1-8 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 12th nationally (as of Feb. 22). He has gone for 96 the last four 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 had 21 against USF.
Ireland 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. Ireland has 552 points this season, needing 10 points to crack the season top-20 all-time at LMU. Lowery was the last Lion to crack the top-20 in 1991-92 with 675 points. Mike Yoest (1987-88) and Enoch Simmons (1988-89) are tied for 20th with 562 points.
In addition to scoring, Ireland ranks in the top-18 in eight other statistical categories in the WCC, including rebounds (18th), 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
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 11-game skid, the Lions have shot a combined 36.7 percent (212-578) 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 52-for-195 from three (26.7 percent ) and are now ranked eighth at 33.1percent.
The Lions are have been playing with just eight scholarship players during WCC play, and remain at eight entering the game against Cal Poly (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 men's basketball will face Cal Poly in the final ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters, traveling to San Luis Obispo on Saturday, Feb. 23. This is the third straight season the Lions will participate in the 11th annual BracketBusters, a two-day men's basketball showcase that will end this season. The Lions faced Portland State in 2011 and then Valparaiso a year ago. The Lions fell to Portland State, 84-75, but then earned a 66-56 win in the return game on Dec. 1, 2012. The Lions defeated Valpo, 61-53, in one of the 13 games televised by the ESPN networks. The Lions will return the game against Valpo in the 2013-14 season, while Cal Poly will also return the game to Gersten Pavilion next season. LMU will face Cal Poly for the eighth time in program history. The teams faced each other twice in about two weeks in the 2010-11 season, with Cal Poly winning 55-48 on Nov. 24, 2010 at Mott Athletics Center and the Lions winning in Gersten Pavilion, 67-48 on Dec. 4, 2010. The Lions lead the series 5-3, with both teams winning all three games at their home arena. The Lions have won a pair of neutral games. Cal Poly has been a tough place to play, they are 12-12 overall on the season, going 8-6 in the Big West Conference and 10-1 at home. The Mustangs had a three-game winning streak, all at home, snapped on Wednesday at Cal State Fullerton, 77-60.
THE LAST MEETING
LMU returned home for the first time in three weeks and posted a 67-48 win over Cal Poly at Gersten Pavilion, the second meeting in 10 days between the two. The Lions, who shot just 30 percent and turned the ball over 16 times in scoring 48 points in a setback at Cal Poly on Nov. 24, shot 45 percent and turned the ball over a season-low six times while holding Cal Poly to a season-low the 48 points on 36.2 percent shooting. Four Lions scored in double figures, led by the guard duo of Vernon Teel and Anthony Ireland with 14 each, while Ashley Hamilton scored 12 points with eight rebounds. Cal Poly's Malik Love led all scorers with 16 points. Up three, the Lions would go on a 16-3 run half way through the second half to put the game away. LMU outrebounded Cal Poly by +16 edge, outscoring Cal Poly in second chance points, 12-2.
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 93 games with 86 starts entering the San Francisco game. He has 552 points, 99 assists and 44 steals to lead the Lions in 2012-13, giving him 1,440 points (ranked 11th all-time at LMU), 362 assists (8th all-time) and 133 steals (tied for 13th all-time with Hank Gathers) in his career. Ireland needs 10 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 27th game with at least 20 points, going for 21 against USF. The Lions are 14-13 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.
- GO LIONS -