GAMEDAY: On The Road For Finale
LMU men's basketball to wrap-up regular season in Stockton on Saturday at 7 pm.
STOCKTON, Calif. - The 2016-17 regular season will come to a close with LMU men's basketball traveling to Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 25 for a 7 pm tip-off. The Lions (14-14, 7-10) are coming off a 53-51 down-to-the-wire win over USF in the home finale while the Tigers (10-20, 4-13) saw fell at the buzzer in a 69-68 setback at Santa Clara. The game can be seen on TheW.tv and heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.
|Date | Time:||Saturday, Feb. 25 | 7 pm|
|Where:||Alex G. Spanos Center | Stockton, CA|
|Game Preview:||LMU Game Notes | PAC Game Notes|
|The Match-Up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
PAC: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|Radio:||KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online|
|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 343 games at the NCAA Division I level. Their tenure at LMU can be defined as Cardiac Lions, entering the final game of the regular season having played over half their games down to the final minutes. On the season, the Lions had their 12th game of the season decided in the last 10 seconds of the contest in a 53-51 win over USF on Thursday (record of 5-7). They have played 16 games decided by eight points or less, going 8-8 in those contests. LMU is 3-3 in one-point games, 1-0 in two-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 mark in seven-point games and an eight-point setback at BYU on Jan. 28, 85-77...
Pacific has seen their share of close games in WCC play with seven contests decided by six points or less. Included in that list is the one-point setback at Santa Clara Thursday, 69-68. Under first-year head coach Damon Stoudamire, the Tigers are 10-20 on the season and 4-13 in WCC play. They are led by Ray Bowles at 12.9 ppg and T.J. Wallace at 12.7 ppg. Anthony Townes, who had a double-double against Santa Clara, averages 9.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The Tigers are one of the better rebounding teams in the WCC with a +2.7 rebound margin. They leads the league in offensive rebounds at 11.8 per game, just a head of the Lions, who average 11.0 per game...
This will be the 56th meeting all-time in the series. The Lions took a 28-27 edge in the series with a 79-73 win over the Tigers at Gersten Pavilion on Jan. 26 in the first meeting. It was the first win by a home team in the series in 10 meetings. Pacific had won five straight at LMU while the Lions currently have won the last five in Stockton. LMU hit seven of their last eight field goals and used an 8-2 run in the final four minutes to pull away. They finished 12-for-29 from three and hit 62.5 percent from the field in the second half. Four Lions scored in double figures, including Brandon Brown with 21 points and six assists. Pacific got 22 points from Ray Bowles, who went 11-for-11 from the free throw line.
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.
- Feb. 23 - LMU 53, USF 51 - Lions erase 10-point second half deficit using 12-0 run and defense forces two misses in final 17 seconds for 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 the leader with 106 games played in his career. Amayo, who earned a sixth-year by the NCAA this season, has played in 68 games. Junior college transfers Brown, Johnson, and Tuach all joined the Lions a year ago and have played in 59, 57 and 53 games, respectively...
Brown leads the way at point, sitting is 11th in scoring (13.3 ppg), 6th in assists (4.2 apg), and 4th in steals per game (1.4). He shot 4-for-5 from three against Pepperdine and is ranked 9th in three-pointer percentage (41.2). He is 13th in three-pointers made per game (1.7), and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). Tuach continues to do a little of everything for the Lions. He ranks 19th in scoring (11.6 ppg), 11th in shooting (51.1%), 6th in three-point shooting (42.0%), and 3rd in steals (1.4 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 312 points through 28 games this year, hitting 113-for-221 from the field and 42-for-100 from three...
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 7.1 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... Jovanovic is setting career bests in points (8.3 ppg), rebounds (4.8 rpg) and assists (26). Within the WCC, he is ranked 9th in shooting (52.1%), 6th in offensive rebounds at 2.1 and 10th in blocks at 0.9... Amayo, who was granted a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA, has been a big presence off the bench. In 17.7 minutes a game he is averaging 4.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.73 apg, and 1.04 spg. He is ranked 10th in the WCC in steals.
The Lions picked up their 10th win at Gersten Pavilion Thursday in the home finale. It is the second most wins at home in two decades (12 in 2011-12)when they went 11-3 in 1995-96... In the 53-51 win over USF, they entered the game ranked 34th in the nation with nearly 10 three-pointers per game. The Lions held them to 6-for-28 from three (21.4 percent). LMU was 4-for-18 (22.2 percent)... In erasing the five-point halftime deficit against the Dons, it was the first time in conference play the Lions have won when trailing at half... The 51 points allowed is tied for the season low, holding Vanguard to 51 in the first game of the season. It was the 14th time this season the Lions held an opponent under 70 points, improving to 11-3 in those games. They also improve to 13-2 on the season when holding opponents to under 45 percent from the field (USF shot 37.9 percent)...
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, and after a pair against USF, he has 131 three-pointers in his career, replacing Ennoch Simmons (1985-89) for 11th all-time in LMU history. He needs three 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 58 this season, which is ranked 19th. He is ranked 7th in the WCC with 2.1 three-pointers per game, scoring 9.5 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, and eight against USF, earning a 19-8 edge. They had a 16-3 edge in points off turnovers in the second half, helping to erase a 10-point second half deficit against the Dons The Lions lead the WCC in steals this season at 7.5 per game...
The Lions won their last three games at Gersten Pavilion and they did it with defense. They held Portland to 60 points, Pepperdine to 61 and USF to 51. It was the 12th, 13th and 14th time the Lions have held an opponent under 70 points. They are 11-3 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 USF into 15 on Thursday while committing just 11. The Lions are 2nd in the WCC with a +1.8 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 five games), he has had 10 blocks and is now ranked 13th in the WCC with 0.7 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 UPLMU will end the regular season at Pacific on Saturday and will then head to the WCC Championships in Las Vegas. The Lions have secured the No. 6 seed and will advance to the quarterfinals where they will face the No. 3 seed on Saturday, Mar. 4 at 1 pm.
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