Quick Trip Home for Opener
Lions play only home game in season's opening six weeks against Northern Arizona on Sunday for Alumni Family Day.
Nov. 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- After a thrilling 74-73 come-from-behind win over Long Beach State on Thursday, LMU (3-0) returns to Gersten Pavilion for a quick one-game stop for their home opener on Sunday, Nov. 17 against Northern Arizona (1-2) at 4 pm. The Lions will play nine of their first 10 games on the road, and after the home opener, will play the remaining six games over the next month on the road. Watch the game live on the LMU Sports Network and listen on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE LIONS
Four Lions had double figures, led by freshman Evan Payne with 16 of his 18 points off the bench in the second half. Through three games, four Lions average double figures, led by senior Anthony Ireland and sophomore Ben Dickinson with 16.0 ppg. Freshman Gave Levin is averaging 14.3 per game while Payne moved his average to 10.3 per game. Ireland, Dickinson and Levin have had double figures all three games this season, making Levin the first freshman in LMU history to start his career with three straight double figure games.
The Lions had three 20-point scorers in the win over South Dakota St., the first time that has happened since the record-setting LMU-USIU game on Jan. 5, 1991. Dickinson had 22 points while Ireland and Levin had 20 points each. The last time it happened, the Lions set the NCAA record for points in a 186-140 win. Five Lions went for more than 20 points (Terrell Lowery - 34, Richard Petruska - 28, Chris Knight - 27, Rahim Harris - 24, Ross Richardson - 24).
Anthony Ireland continues to set marks for the Lions. He set a career-best with 12 assists in earning his fifth career double-double against South Dakota State. He added 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win over the 49ers. With 48 points, 18 assists and five steals to start the season, Ireland continues to climb his way up the career record, sitting 8th all-time with 1,624 points, 7th with 402 assists and 9th with 152 steals.
The Lions finished the two games shooting 52.1 percent, including 57.6 percent in the win on Saturday. It was the Lions' best shooting night from the field against an NCAA Division I opponent since hitting 59.3 percent against Seattle on Dec. 30, 2009. The Lions hit 57.7 percent against Pacifica in the opener last season. A Grand Finale: Senior Anthony Ireland enters his final season all over the record books at LMU with the projection to do even more. He enters the season as a Preseason All-WCC selection and is:
2014 Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Watch-list for the Bob Cousy Award
Preseason Lou Henson Award All-American
WCC Best Player Selection (sbnation and College Hoops Journal)
One of nation's most unknow top players (CBS)
LMU Magazine: "Ice Man"
College Hoops Daily
Ireland averaged 29.5 minutes in the first two games, a good seven minutes below his average the last two seasons of 36.9 minutes per game, the most in the West Coast Conference. Ireland, who was 14th in the NCAA last season in scoring at 20.2 ppg, finished playing just 22 minutes against GCU, fewest since the fourth game of his career (19 minutes vs. Dowling on Nov. 20, 2010). His first field goal of the game with 9:43 to play in game gave LMU a 61-55 lead. However, he would pick up his fourth foul with with 8:51 to play and would leave the game. He re-entered the game with 4:06 to play and the Lions down 66-65. He would score six points with the assist on the winner, finishing with a team-high 14 points.
LMU out rebounded Long Beach State 45-30 and used five of their 19 offensive rebounds in the final minute to get the win. Trailing by five with 1:04 to play, Evan Payne cut the lead to 73-70 and was fouled. He would miss the free throw, but fellow freshman Gabe Levin grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Lions the possession. After a timeout with 46.5 left, Payne missed a three-pointer but Chase Flint grabbed the offensive rebounds. Ireland then missed with 16 seconds left but he would grab his own miss to keep possession yet again. After a timeout with 11 seconds left, the Lions ran a play for Levin who went in for a dunk. It was altered at the basket and lipped out. But yet again the Lions found the rebound. This time it was Dickinson, whose outback cut the lead to 73-72 with seven seconds left. LMU, who had pressed most of the game, pressured Caffey along the sideline and forced him to step on the line for the turnover. Ireland would take the inbound and was fouled by Caffey at about the same spot with 4.9 left. Ireland, who ranked fourth in the WCC last season with an 82.3 free throw percentage, drained both free throws for the win. This is the fourth straight meeting between the Lions and 49ers to go down to the final possession, including a pair of overtime games. The Lions are 3-1 against the 49ers under Good and won for just the third time at Long Beach in 15 tries.