Similar Paths Meet in Day Two of Alaska

Anthony Ireland has started the season flying high, averaging 23 points his last seven games.

Nov. 23, 2012

Lions Head to Great Alaska, Oral Roberts First Men's basketball to open third trip to Alaska with Oral Roberts on Thanksgiving Day.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- LMU men's basketball will play in day two of the 35th Annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout taking on Texas State in the second consolation semifinal on Friday, Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. (PT) It will be the first meeting between the two programs who both fell to 2-2 on the season after falling by nine points in the opening games of the Shootout. The game will be broadcast on KXLU 88.9 FM.


GAME: LMU (2-2) vs. Texas State (2-2)
DATE/TIME: Nov. 23, 2012 // 4:00 p.m. (PST)
LOCATION: Sullivan Sports Arena (8,500) // Anchorage, AK
TV: None
RADIO: KXLU 88.9 FM (Jesse Kass)
RESOURCES: GameDay Central
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The Lions are making their third trip to the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout since 2002. LMU played in the 2002 tournament and then again in 2006. They went 1-2 in 2002, falling to Villanova, defeating Montana and then falling to Wyoming in the finale. In 2006, the Lions went 2-1, defeating host Alaska-Anchorage and then Pacific in double overtime before falling in the Great Alaska championship game to Cal, 78-70. The Lions opened the tournament with a Oral Roberts 75-66 setback to Oral Roberts and will now face North Texas, who fell 73-64 to Charlotte on Thursday. Anthony Ireland scored a career-best 30 points in the setback, going 11-for-21 from the field, 4-for-5 from three while adding three steals and four rebounds in 37 minutes. Texas State joined the Western Athletic Conference in July 2012 and return three starters from last season, Matt Staff, Vonn Jones, and Reid Koenen. Staff and sophomore Wesley Davis earned College Sports Madness All-WAC Preseason Team honors.

The rest of the field for the 35th Annual Shootout features UC Riverside taking on host Alaska Anchorage in the first consolation semifinal at 2 p.m. (PT). The semifinals will feature Northeastern taking on Belmont at 8 p.m., followed by Oral Roberts taking on unbeaten Charlotte. While the Lions have never faced Texas State, the Lions defeated host Alaska Anchorage in 2006 in the only meeting between the two, while having faced local foe UC Riverside six times (UCR leads the series 4-2). They have never faced Belmont, Charlotte or Texas State.

Junior Anthony Ireland enters the 2012-13 season turning heads and with good reason. Ireland is on the Lou Henson Player of the Year watch list and was named to the Lou Henson Award Preseason All-American Team. He also was named Preseason All-WCC as he begins his junior season as one of the most experienced players on the LMU roster, having played every single game he has been at LMU, playing 70 games with 63 starts entering the Great Alaska Shootout. After his career-best 30-point outing on Thanksgiving Day, he has 92 points and 21 assists to start the season, giving him 980 points and 284 assists (ranked 11th all-time) in his career. He has been on a tear since the close of last season. He has started the 2012-13 season leading the the team in scoring and assists and is tied with Ashley Hamilton for the lead in rebounds. And he has just continued a pace he set last year in the postseason. Going back to the Lions' three games at the CIT, which incuded a double-double and three 20-plus point games, Ireland is averaging 23 points, 6.3 rebounds and six assists per game in his last seven games. He earned his fourth career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds at SMU and then posted his 16th 20-point game Thursday. The Lions are 9-7 in games when he goes over 20 points. He was the only Lion to play every game last season and was second in the WCC in minutes played at 36.5 per game. The first-team All-WCC and NABC All-District selection was second in the WCC in scoring at 16.1 points per game and fourth with 4.9 assists per contest. He earned two WCC Player of the Week honors, his second coming 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.

Ireland's Last Seven:

Game FG (%) 3PT (%) FT (%) Reb Ast Stl Pts
Mar. 14 vs. CSF 8-16 (.500) 2-8 (.250) 8-10 (.800) 5 4 2 26
Mar. 18 vs. WSU 6-16 (.375) 2-6 (.333) 6-6 (1.000) 7 10 1 20
Mar. 21 at USU 9-20 (.450) 2-6 (.333) 3-5 (.600) 4 4 4 23
Nov. 9 vs. PAC 8-10 (.800) 1-1 (1.000) 2-2 (1.000) 4 7 2 19
Nov. 11 at SMU 5-14 (.357) 1-5 (.200) 6-8 (.750) 11 5 1 17
Nov. 17 at CSUB 8-16 (.500) 1-3 (.333) 9-12 (.750) 9 7 3 26
Nov. 22 vs. ORU 11-21 (.524) 4-5 (.800) 4-6 (.667) 4 2 3 30
Totals 55-113 (.487) 13-34 (.382) 38-49 (.776) 44 (6.3) 39 (5.6) 16 (2.3) 161 (23.0)





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