Host Match-up Concludes Shootout
Men's basketball wraps up 2012 Great Alaska Shootout with host Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday at 3 p.m. (PT)
Nov. 24, 2012
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- LMU men's basketball will conclude their third appearance in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, Nov. 24 when they face host Alaska-Anchorage in the consolation finals at 3 p.m. (PT) The Lions (3-2) earned a 15-point win over North Texas on Friday and will close their 20-day road swing against the host Seawolves (5-1), who defeated UC Riverside to advance. The game will be broadcast on KXLU 88.9 FM.
INSIDE THE GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT
Alaska-Anchorage improved to 5-1 on the season, all at home, with a 66-65 win over UC Riverside. The Seawolves fell to Belmont 74-60 on Thursday. Northeastern defeated Belmont, 74-71, and will face Charlotte, who defeated Oral Roberts 72-58, in the 35th annual Shootout championships game.
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.
INSIDE THE LIONS
Senior Ashley Hamilton had his fourth career double-double in the win over Texas State, going for 13 points and 14 rebounds. He had six offensive rebounds as the Lions totaled 17 offensive boards in the win. The Lions outrebounded Texas State 48-32, forced 14 turnovers on 10 steals, held a 22-12 edge in points off turnovers and held the Bobcats to 34.4 percent shooting from the field.
LMU returns eight letterwinners, including three starters, from the 2011-12 season that finished 21-13 overall and 11-5 (4th) in the WCC. Many of the Lions' marks last season trace back to the 1989-90 Elite Team, including its first 20-win season, the most conference wins, first postseason win, first team to earn consecutive postseason wins, most home wins (12), and best road record (9-4). In addition, the 21 wins is the fourth most in school history and the Lions' 11 conference wins is tied with the 1967-68 team for the third most.
It will be a combination of experience and the unknown as the Lions will enter the season with a 15-man roster that has just 15 years of NCAA Division-I basketball experience - one of the youngest rosters in the country.
The experience: LMU returns starters Anthony Ireland (23.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.0 apg), who was named Preseason All-WCC after earning First-Team All-Conference a year ago, Ashley Hamilton (13.0 ppg, 8.4 apg), a fifth-year senior who averaged over 11 points and 5.6 rebounds a year ago, and Godwin Okonji (5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, who has led the team in blocks the last two years. They enter the fourth game of the season having played 224 combined games and have combined to make 193 starts. In addition, junior Ayodeji Egbeyemi (14.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 45.5 3PT%), who has started all five games of the season, and redshirt junior Alex Osborne (4.2 rpg, 1.0 spg) combine for 125 games of experience.
The youth: The rest of the Lions' scholarship roster is underclassmen. Sophomores Bruce English (missed first five games with ankle injury) and CJ Blackwell (missed first three games with knee injury, played 26 minutes in Alaska) had solid first seasons, with English earning the start in the exhibition game on Oct. 30 while Blackwell showed flashes of offensive fireworks a year ago. The rest of the active roster are newcomers, with transfer Chase Flint (7.4 ppg, hitting 4-for-5 from three vs. CSUB), and freshmen Taj Adams (did not play against SMU & CSUB), Marin Mornar (4.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Nick Stover (5.8 ppg in 20.2 mpg) and Adam Drexler (7.0 mpg in two games)
AT THE POINT
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