Senior Day Caps WCC Play Saturday
Men's basketball looks to rebound in regular season finale against Santa Clara on Saturday.
Feb. 24, 2012
GAME: LMU (18-11, 1-5) vs. Santa Clara (8-20, 0-15)
Senior Day comes to Gersten Pavilion as LMU men's basketball will wrap-up the 2011-12 regular season with the West Coast Conference finale against Santa Clara on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. The Lions will recognize five graduating players in LaRon Armstead, Tim Diederichs, Drew Viney, Daniel Latimer and Kelsey Chine in pregame ceremonies starting at 7:45 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports West and on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU sits at 18-11 overall on the season, the program's best record since going 18-11 in the first 29 games in the 1995-96 season. LMU enters Thursday's game at 10-5 in the West Coast Conference, falling to San Diego, 60-57, on Thursday. The Lions are a lock for fourth place in the WCC standings, earning a bye to the quartefinals in the upcoming 2012 Zappos.com WCC Championships in Las Vegas. The 10 conference wins is the most in WCC play since the Elite Eight team in 1989-90 (who went 13-1).
The Lions are coming off a stretch of four games in nine days, and Anthony Ireland was a big reason they went 3-1 in that stint, which included three straight on the road and two in the RPI's top-30. Ireland scored a game-high 19 points with eight rebounds and five assists against Valpo, adding to the 16 points and seven assists he had at Saint Mary's to earn his second WCC Player of the Week of the season. In the Lions' last four games he averaged 18.3 points, five assists and five rebounds. Ireland is second in the WCC with 15.5 points per game and fourth with 4.8 assists per game.
LMU is ranked 20th in the NCAA Division I National Rankings in three-point field goal defense, and are now holding opponents to a league low 29.6 percent from long range overall after San Diego hit an opponent's season-high 46.7 percent (7-for-15) on Thursday. LMU is limiting opponents to just 27.6 percent in WCC games after limiting Saint Mary's to 21.4 percent. The Lions have held 14 teams under 30 percent for the game, including BYU's 2-for-25 (8 percent), Pepperdine's 2-for-15 effort on Thursday (13.3 percent) as well as Gonzaga and Portland to 15.4 percent (2-for-13). In non-conference they held UCLA to 13.3 percent and North Texas' to 15.8 percent.
The Lions entered the week leading the WCC in free throw percentage, and are now hitting 72.6 percent on the season after going a season low 53.8 percent (7-for-13) against San Diego. The Lions' top-six scorers hit better than 73 percent, including LaRon Armstead's 85.5 percent, which leads the WCC. Anthony Ireland is 13th in the WCC at 75.6 percent. The Lions entered the week ranked 64th out of 338 teams in NCAA Division I.
The win at Saint Mary's improved the Lions to 7-1 on the road in WCC play and 9-3 overall away from home. Its the best conference road record since going 6-1 in that 1989-90 season, and the seven wins matches the raod win total of the 1987-88 team, who went 14-0 in league play. In addition, Lions finish the regular season at 9-3 on the road, its best road record since winning 11 games in that Elite Eight season. Included in that record was a six-game road winning streak, matching the 1990-'91 team for the most consecutive road wins (overall).
Sophomore Anthony Ireland is second in the West Coast Conference at 15.5 points per game, leading the Lions into the final game of the season. Senior Drew Viney is second on the team at 15.3 points per contest. Ashley Hamilton had 15 against San Diego and is third on the team at 10.8 points per game. Junior Jarred DuBois, who had 15 against the Gaels, is averaging 10.3 points.
The Lions' 60-point second half in the comeback win over San Francisco on Feb. 4 was the most points in a single half since they scored 69 in the second half against USC on Nov. 30, 1993. The Lions hit 11 three-pointers in that win, and with another 10 against Portland Thursday, they have hit double-digit three-pointers six times this season, ranking fifth in the WCC with 6.7 three-pointers. The Lions hit seven against Saint Mary's and improve to 9-2 on the season when they hit at least seven. Heading into the season, the last time they hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game was 10 against USF on Jan. 14, 2010. The 11 made is the most since hitting 12 against Mercer on Nov. 24, 2007.
MORE NUMBERS: The Lions are 14-1 when leading at the half (8-1 in WCC), 12-1 (6-0) when outrebounding their opponent, 18-4 (10-2) when shooting better than 40 percent, 10-1 (5-0) when holding their opponent to less than 40 percent, and 13-0 (7-0) when scoring 70 or more points.
The Lions have played in three overtime games in a season for the first time since 2007-08, winning all three. It is the first time in program history the Lions have won three overtime games in a single season.
Injuries once again have forced change in the Lions starting five as the Lions have started nine different line-ups. Three of the Lions' top-seven - top scorers Jarred DuBois, Drew Viney and Ashley Hamilton - combined to miss 27 games this season. The Lions have found some consistency, starting the same five the last 11 games, going 8-3 in those games. In 2010-11, LMU's top-seven missed 66 games as the Lions featured 16 different starting line-ups... Junior Jarred DuBois missed two games (La Sierra, North Texas) due to soreness in his foot and then three more games (at Pep, Gonzaga, at BYU) after suffering a concussion against San Diego on Jan. 7... Junior Ashley Hamilton, who was the Lions' leading scorer after three games, suffered an injury to his right foot against Harvard and missed the next 12 games... Senior Drew Viney missed 10 of the Lions' first 12 games after a stress fracture in his foot the week prior to the start of the season in October. He returned to the line-up full-time against Vanguard on Dec. 27... Prior to the team's departure to San Francisco Dec. 31, redshirt sophomore Edgar Garibay asked for and was granted his release from the LMU men's basketball program.
GAME #30 - SENIOR DAY
The 137th meeting between LMU and Santa Clara will be the last home game for five players graduating this May. LaRon Armstead, Tim Diederichs, Drew Viney, Kelsey Chine and Daniel Latimer will say farewell to Gersten Pavilion in the annual Senior Day Saturday. Viney became just the 13th player in program history to score more than 1,000 points with 500 rebounds in a career, going for five rebounds against San DIego on Thursday. As for Armstead and Diederichs, they joined a list of just 31 players to play at least 100 games in a Lion uniform. The two senior leaders have played in 104 and 102 games, respectively. Chine and Latimer each joined the Lions in 2008-09 as walk-ons and both have gone on to earn national scholar-athlete honors in 2010-11. The five players will be honored during a pregame ceremony prior to the tip-off on Saturday, with festivities set to begin at 7:45 p.m.
AT THE POINT
Sophomore Anthony Ireland started the season scoring 22 or more points in four of five games, and with his 23 points at Gonzaga, he now has nine games with 20 or more on the season and 11 in his young career. He is one of two Lions to play every game this season (Ayodeji Egbeyemi is the other) and he is second in the WCC in minutes played at 36.3 per game. He is second in the WCC in scoring at 15.5 points per game and fourth with 4.8 assists per contest. He earned his second WCC Player of the Week honor with 16 points and seven assists in the win over ranked Saint Mary's, and 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win over Valpo. His first was after his 27-point effort in the win over BYU and he became just the second Lion since 1998 to earn a double-double with points and assists when he did it against Vanguard (14 pts, 10 assists). He had 21 assists in the final two non-conference games, going for a career-high 11 against Morgan State on Dec. 21. According to records, its is the most in back-to-back games since Terrell Lowery in 1990. He now has 234 career assists to rank tied for 15th all-time at LMU. He also has 44 steals on the season (1.52 spg), to rank seventth in the WCC.
LaRon Armstead continues to show why he is the Lions' senior leader, becoming the 30th player in LMU history to appear in 100 games in his career, and now ranks tied for 25th with 104 games played. Fellow senior Tim Diederichs became the 31st to hit a 100 in the game against Gonzaga. He is 28th with 102 games played. Armstead came off the bench to score 22 points against then #23 Saint Louis, becoming a mainstay in the Lions' rotation since. He went for double figures in six of seven games before the Morgan State game, and has returned to that form in the WCC, going for 14 in the win over Pepperdine. Against the Waves he hit a big three-pointer for a 57-51 lead late, and then after the Waves cut the lead to five, he grabbed three straight defensive rebounds. He is fifth on the team with 8.1 points per game while adding 2.6 rebounds, and 18 steals. In addition to his free throws, he has hit 31 three-pointers, tied for second on the squad.
Redshirt senior Drew Viney entered 2011-12 needing just a single point to become the 31st player in LMU history to reach 1,000 career points. After having to miss the first six games due to a stress fracture in his foot, it took exactly 12 seconds in his first game back against Columbia to hit the century mark. Viney knocked down a 12-foot jumper to become the 31st player in school history to reach a 1,000 points. Then with five rebounds against San Diego, he became the 13th player in program history with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He had his 11th career double-double in the win over Pepperdine, which ranks tied for 12th at LMU. He enters Wednesday's game averaging 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds with 17 blocks, 23 steals and 28 assists in 19 games. He is second on the team with 31 three-pointers. His career numbers are starting to add up. Here is where he ranks in the LMU career record books as of Feb. 23: 16th with 1,290 points 15th with 16.5 ppg 20th with 449 made field goals 25th with 967 field goal attempts 9th with 132 three-pointers made 10th with 318 three-pointer attempts 5th with a 41.5 three-point field goal percentage 20th with 260 free throws made 28th with 328 free throws attemted 20th with a 79.3 free throw percentage 24th with 501 rebounds 5th with 81 blocks 30th with 82 steals, grabbing four Thursday.
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