Rivalry Grows With Another Tourney Match-up

Alex Osborne was part of busy roster on Wednesday.

March 7, 2013

The Last Meeting
San Francisco61
Loyola Marymount59
February 21, 2013
Gersten Pavilion
Yet Another One
The heated rivalry the last four years that is San Francisco and LMU was at it again on Thursday night in Los Angeles, as yet another meeting went down to the final seconds. Cody Doolin hit a lay-in with 0.5 left to lift the Dons to a 61-59 victory in West Coast Conference action.

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GAME: LMU (9-22, 1-15) vs. USF (14-15, 7-9)
DATE/TIME: Mar. 7, 2013 // 6:00 p.m. (PST)
LOCATION: Orleans Arena // Las Vegas, NV
TV: BYUtv (Dave McCann, Steve Cleveland, Blaine Fowler)
RADIO: KXLU 88.9 FM (Jesse Kass, Drew Rossi, Chase Lio)
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
RESOURCES: WCC Tourney Central
Interactive Game Notes
LMU Game Notes - Mar. 7Get Acrobat Reader
Media Almanac
Latest on Lions' All-Access

LAS VEGAS, Nev.--With the streak-stopping 65-54 win in the opening round of the 2013 WCC Basketball Championships, LMU men's basketball advanced to the second round to face fifth-seeded San Francisco on Thursday at 6 pm at the Orleans Arena. It's a fitting match-up in what is becoming quite the rivalry of late between the two programs. This will be the third time in four years the programs will meet in the WCC tournament. The game will be live on BYUtv and KXLU 88.9 FM.

• The Lions are 9-22 overall, snapping a 14-game skid with a 65-54 win over Portland in the WCC opening round on Wednesday. Senior Ashley Hamilton led the Lions with 21 points and eight rebounds, marking just the fifth time this season someone other the Ireland led the team in points. The Lions had a season high 14 steals, forcing Portland into 19 turnovers while only having 11 themselves. The 14 steals matches two other games (3/21/12 at Utah St.; 12/18/06 vs. Boise St.) as the most in a single game in more than nine years, getting 15 on Jan. 15, 2004 against San Diego.

• In a program with a rich scoring history, junior Anthony Ireland continues to pace the Lions in 2012-13 with one of the better scoring seasons in LMU history. He leads the Lions at 20.3 points per game, ranking second in the WCC and 12th nationally (as of Mar. 4). He now has 630 points on the season, becoming the first Lion to crack the LMU season top-20 since Terrell Lowery did it with 675 points in 1991-92. Ireland is just the 12th different player in the top-20, and is just the 15th time someone has scored at least 600 points in a single season in LMU history. He is now 11th all-time thanks to his 12 points on Wednesday. He cracked the career top-10 at LMU with 23 and 24 points, respectively, in the final two games of the regular season, giving him 1,518 career points, ranking 10th all-time at LMU. Ireland was named first-team All-WCC this past week, becoming the first Lion to earn back-to-back first-team All-WCC honors since Matthew Knight did it in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He is the 14th player to go back-to-back and just the second junior to do it, joining Hank Gathers as the only Lion to do so. In addition to scoring, Ireland ranks in the top-20 in eight other statistical categories in the WCC, including rebounds (18th), assists (7th) and steals (7th). 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

• LMU's best offense is off their defense. Thanks to those 14 steals, the Lions posted a 22-6 edge in points off turnovers. In the last two games, the Lions have a 44-9 edge in points off turnovers, using the press to comeback from a 15-point deficit against BYU, the Lions forced the Cougars into 19 turnovers on 10 steals and turned that into a 22-3 edge in points off turnovers. The Lions have bettered their opponent in that category in 17 of the 31 games this season. They generated 19 of their 27 points off turnovers in the second half as they earased a big deficit against USF on Feb. 21, the most in WCC play. The final margin was 27-16 in favor of the Lions, a reversal of the first meeting against the Dons as they held 22-4 edge on Jan. 19.

• During the Lions' end of the season streak, 10 of the setbacks were by single digits and nine of the 10 where a single possession game with less than two minutes to play. Those 10 games were decided by a total of 44 points, 4.4 per game. The Lions are 1-10 in games decided by less than 10 points since the start of the year (4-14 for the entire season) and 1-6 in games decided by four or less in conference play. Here is a look at some of them:

• The 46 percent shooting for the LIons against Portland was a big part of ending the skid, as the Lions shot a combined 37.6 percent (277-737) from the field during the 14-game skid. They put up 62 shots (second most in WCC play), 15 more than the Cougars, but finished shooting 38.8 percent to BYU's 44.8. They shot 33 percent against Pepperdine despite out shooting the Waves by 17 shots. On Wednesday they finished with 10 more shots than the Pilots, who they held to 42.9 percent shooting. The streak included 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).

• The Lions finished hitting 42.9 percent from three agasinst Portland (6-for-14), which was an even bigger improvement for the Lions. It had been even more of a struggle from long range, as the Lions were ranked fourth in the WCC in three-point shooting following the Santa Clara win on Jan. 10 at 37.5 percent. In the 14 games after, the Lions had shot just 70-for-241 from three (29 percent ) and entered the WCC tournament ranked 7th at 33.6 percent. The Lions equalled its most three-pointers in WCC games with nine against BYU, while attempting 25 (36 percent) of them.

• The Lions are have been playing with just eight scholarship players during WCC play, and have played 10 different starting line-ups this season. LMU will have just eight during the WCC tournament (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 before the injury) 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 previous 10 games due to a stress reaction in his left shin, which is still not 100-percent. The Lions bench is already thin due to redshirts to sophomore C.J. Blackwell (will apply for a medical redshirt), transfer Ben Dickinson (due to NCAA transfer rules) and freshman Taj Adams (coaches' decision).

The series between LMU and San Francisco has become quite the battle since Max Good and Rex Walters took over their respective programs, and o series in recent history has been as close as the one with USF. Starting in the first full season under Good, the teams have played 10 times, with the combined score sitting at 713-691 in favor of the Dons, that is a difference of 2.2 points per game. Included was one of the Lions three heartbreaks as the last meeting saw Cody Doolin hit a lay-in with 0.5 left. Here is a look at the last seven meetings:

Jan. 27, 2011 • USF - 60-61

Michael Williams hit three-pointer with a minute left to erase 17-point second half deficit.

Feb. 26, 2011 • at USF - 75-77

Doolin hit only shot of game on a three with 49 seconds left and Lions miss 3 shots in final seconds

Dec. 31, 2011 • LMU - 77-76

Ireland hits a runner with 1.6 seconds left in overtime for win as Dons erase 19-pt deficit to send it to OT.

Feb. 4, 2012 • at LMU - 90-88 

Lions hit 10 three's in 2nd half to erase 16-point deficit in final 7:30 as Drew Viney hits runner in final min.

Mar. 2, 2012 • USF - 60-67 

A quarterfinal match-up of the WCC's for the 2nd time in 3 years, Dons hit 11 3's in a game that had 11 leads/ties.

Jan. 19, 2013 • at USF - 53-62

Bruce English cut lead to 55-52 with 1:57 to play, but Dons hold Lions without FG rest of the way.

Feb. 21, 2013 • at LMU - 59-61

Lions erase 20-point deficit, take three-point lead late, Dickerson ties with 3-ptr, Doolin wins it with 0.5 left.

In the two meetings this season, the Lions have shot just 17.1 percent from three and 32.7 percent overall in a series that has been all defense. The Dons shot just 39.2 percent from the field, hitting 34 percent from three. The Lions outrebounded the Dons by +7.5 in the two games, 37-27 edge on Feb. 21. Turnovers were key on each of the home courts, as USF had a 22-4 edge in points off turnovers in January, while the Lions had a 27-16 edge in the last meeting. Both teams had 30 turnovers apiece in the two meetings combined. Anthony Ireland averaged 17 points in the two meetings while Ashley Hamilton had 9.5 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Cole Dickerson was the only Don in double figures with 17 ppg.





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