WCC Quarterfinals Open With BYU
A late season surge sends Cardiac Lions into quarterfinals against Cougars on Saturday in Las Vegas.
March 3, 2017
LAS VEGAS - LMU men's basketball will open the 2017 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Championships in the first quarterfinal match-up of the day, taking on third-seeded BYU at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas with tip-off set for 1 pm. The sixth-seeded Lions have won three straight and four of their last five as they set for just the second meeting against the Cougars in the WCC tournament. The game can be seen on all of the WCC's regional television partners, including Spectrum SportsNet, CSN Bay Area, and BYUtv. It can also be streamed live on Twitter and on TheW.tv. The game will also be live on KXLU 88.9 FM.
|Date | Time:||Saturday, Mar. 4 | 1 pm|
|Where:||Orleans Arena | Las Vegas, NV|
|Game Preview:||LMU Game Notes | BYU Game Notes|
|The Match-Up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
BYU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|Live Broadcast:||Spectrum SportsNet | CSN Bay Area | BYUtv | Twitter | TheW.tv|
|Radio:||KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online|
|GameDay Info:||TOURNEY CENTRAL | GET TICKETS through TIXCITY|
THE MATCH-UP The Lions have been led all season by their five seniors, who have combined to play 348 games at the NCAA Division I level. Their tenure at LMU can be defined as Cardiac Lions, entering the first game of the WCC Championships played over half their games down to the final minutes, including the final two games of the year. On the season, the Lions had their 12th and 13th game of the season decided in the last 10 seconds of the contest in a 53-51 win over USF on Feb. 23 and a 67-66 win at Pacific on Feb. 25 (record of 6-7). They have played 17 games decided by eight points or less, going 9-8 in those contests. LMU is 4-3 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...
Like the Lions, BYU won their last two contests of the regular season, none more thrilling than their road win over previous No. 1 and unbeaten Gonzaga in the final regular season contest of the year. The Cougars' 79-71 win was the first in program history against the No. 1 team in the country. Eric Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, TJ Haws scored 17 and Elijah Bryant added 14 points and five rebounds. Three Cougars earned All-WCC honors. Eric Mika and TJ Haws were named to the All-WCC First Team and Haws and Yoeli Childs earned All-WCC Freshman Team honors...
This will be the 17th overall meeting between the two programs with BYU holding a 12-4 edge in the series. BYU won both regular season match-ups of the season by single digits. In the first meeting in Los Angeles on Dec. 31, BYU overcame an 18-point deficit to win 81-76. Trevor Manuel had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench. In Provo on Jan. 28, the Cougars won 85-77, hitting 28-of-44 free throws. Buay Tuach had 21 points for the Lions.
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 107 games played in his career. Amayo, who earned a sixth-year by the NCAA this season, has played in 69 games. Junior college transfers Brown, Johnson, and Tuach all joined the Lions a year ago and have played in 60, 58 and 54 games, respectively...
Brown and Tuach were named WCC All-Conference, earning second-team and honorable mention, respectively. Both have done a little of everything for the Lions on the season. Brown is 10th in scoring (13.6 ppg), 6th in assists (4.1 apg), and 3rd in steals per game (1.4). He is coming off his seventh 20-point game of the season after going for 24 points, hitting 4-for-8 from three and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. With that shooting performance, he is now ranked 5th in the WCC in three-point shooting (41.8 percent), 12th in free throw shooting (73.4 percent), 12th in three-pointers made per game (1.8), and 6th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8)...
As for Tuach, his senior season could be considered one of the most-improved campaigns by any player in the WCC. 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 taken off. This season he is averaging 11.4 points per game, scoring 318 total points while hitting 50.2 percent from the field (115-of-229) and 40.8 percent from three (42-of-103). Within the WCC, he ranks 20th in scoring, 11th in shooting, 10th in three-point shooting, and 4th in steals (1.4 spg)...
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 7.0 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He has averaged 21.5 minutes per game in his two-year career, going for 6.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg... Jovanovic is setting career bests in points (8.6 ppg), rebounds (4.7 rpg) and assists (27). Within the WCC, he is ranked 9th in shooting (52.7%), 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 4.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.78 apg, and 1.07 spg. He is ranked 9th in the WCC in steals.
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. 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.
- Feb. 25 - LMU 67, Pacific 66 - Brown hits a runner with 26 seconds left and the Lions get key blocks, in final seconds, including Petr Herman's seventh for win.
LMU finished the regular season winning their last three games and four of their last five. It is the best finish to end a season heading into the conference tournament since the Lions won their last 10 games of the 1990-91 season... Petr Herman had seven of LMU's nine blocks against Pacific in the regular season finale, tying a program record previously held by Silvester Kainga, who had seven against CSU Fullerton on Dec. 2, 1998. The nine blocks equalled a season-high by the Lions. They had nine Incarnate Word...
Since being inserted into the starting line-up against Gonzaga (last six games), Petr Herman has had 17 blocks and is now ranked 11th in the WCC with 0.9 bpg. He is one of just nine players in LMU history to have five or more in a game, and it has happened seven times since 2010, twice by Herman...
The 51 points allowed against USF is tied for the season low, holding Vanguard to 51 in the first game of the season. In holding USF to 51 and Pacific to 66 points, it was the 14th and 15th time this season the Lions held an opponent under 70 points, improving to 12-3 in those games. They also improve to 14-2 on the season when holding opponents to under 45 percent from the field (USF shot 37.9 percent and UoP shot 40.7 percent)...
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. The Lions lead the WCC in steals this season at 7.5 per game...
The Lions force a league-high 14.9 turnovers per game. They forced USF and Pacific into 15 each to end the regular season. The Lions are 2nd in the WCC with a +1.8 turnover margin. They are also 3rd with 4.0 blocks per game and 2nd in offensive rebounds with 11.0 per game...
The Lions get the most out of their roster, using all 12 active players nine times in WCC play. They used "just" 10 against Portland and USF. They have had 11 different starting line-ups, and went back to the third starting line-up of the season in the last five games, starting Brandon Brown, Steven Haney, Buay Tuach, Shamar Johnson and Petr Herman. That starting line-up has a record of 7-3 on the season...
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 and 11 in 1995-96)... 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. They did it again at Pacific two nights later...
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 now has 132 three-pointers in his career, replacing Ennoch Simmons (1985-89) for 11th all-time in LMU history. He needs two 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 59 this season, which is ranked 18th. He is ranked 8th in the WCC with 2.0 three-pointers per game, scoring 9.4 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 19-point win over USD on the road in WCC play was the largest margin of victory in a WCC game since beating San Diego by 23 points, 87-64, on January 30, 1998, and the most on the road since defeating Portland 128-96 on Feb. 2, 1991... The 48 second half points against Pacific on Jan. 26 was the most in that half on the season... The 48-point win to open the season was tied for the sixth largest in program history, equaling the Lions 78-31 win over San Diego on Dec. 10, 1958... The Lions scored 57 points in the first 20 minutes against Vanguard, the most in the opening half since the 1991 season... In the second half, LMU held Vanguard to just 17 points, limiting them to just 5-for-35 from the field and 1-for-18 from the three. It was the lowest half by an opponent since the Lions held Seattle to just 11 first half points in an 83-51 win on Nov. 23, 1996... They had 59 rebounds in that game, the most since they had 61 against Pacifica on Nov. 9, 2012.
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