Lions Finally Back Home
Men's basketball begins two-game home stand with Long Beach State on Thursday.
Nov. 28, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- After a 20-day, five-game trip away from Gersten Pavilion, LMU men's basketball (3-3) finally returns home for a two-game homestand starting with Long Beach State (2-3) on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. After skipping a year in what had become an annual meeting, this will be the 26th meeting between the two programs with the last two going to overtime. The game we be broadcast on Lions' All-Access through LMULions.com as well as on KXLU 88.9 FM.
|GAME:||LMU (3-3) vs. Long Beach St. (2-3)|
|DATE/TIME:||Nov. 29, 2012 // 7:00 p.m. (PST)|
|LOCATION:||Gersten Pavilion (4,156) // Los Angeles, CA|
|RADIO:||KXLU 88.9 FM (Jesse Kass)|
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The LMU-Long Beach State game will kick-off Homecoming Week and is a Hall Brawls game on campus sponsored by LMU Housing, First Year Experience, ASLMU and the ROAR. There will be an iPOD Giveaway for ROAR members and First Year Experience will host a Freshman Tailgate... For the 26th time, LMU and Long Beach State will face each other in a head-to-head match-up. The 49ers hold an 18-7 lead in the series with the Lions winning in 2009 and 2010, both in overtime. The Lions are 5-4 at home against the 49ers. The series began in 1962 with the teams playing each other three times in the 1960s, five times in the 1970s, five times in the 1980s and then every season since 1998 except 2008 and a year ago. LMU picked up just their second win all-time at Long Beach State in the teams' last meeting on Nov. 27, 2010 as LMU won 80-77 in overtime. The home-and-away series began the year prior at LMU with the Lions winning 85-80, on Dec. 21, 2009, also in overtime. Four of the last 13 meetings have gone to overtime, with three others decided by three points or less. The 49ers went to the NCAA tournament as Big West Champions a year ago and are 2-3 on the young season, falling to USC, North Carolina and Arizona. They defeated Fresno State on the road on Nov. 25, 69-61. For complete information on coming to the game, including parking info, visit:
GameDay Central Fans can get all the latest information on coming to a game this 2012-13 season at GameDay Central, including information on the new parking policies at LMU.
Fans are reminded that starting in August, LMU charges for parking on campus. FANS ARE ENCOURAGE TO PURCHASE PARKING IN ADVANCE. Parking is enforced Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. For complete information, visit the following resources:
LMU|LA Parking Website | LMUPark | Where to Park | Fees | How to Pay | GameDay Central Parking Info
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions are 3-3 on the young season after going 1-2 at the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout to end a 20-day road swing. Junior Anthony Ireland has exploded for the Lions to start the young season, leading the WCC in scoring at 23.5 points per game. He had three 20-plus point games in the tournament, giving him 18 in his career. In the win over Texas State, he scored his 1,000th career point and he is now 31st all-time with 1,029 points. In Alaska, he scored a career-best 30 against Oral Roberts, 23 against Texas State and 26 against the host Seawolves.
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. He is second on the team with 13.5 points per game and is fourth in the WCC with 7.5 rebounds per contest. 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. The Lions are third in the WCC with a +8.7 rebound margin and lead the league with 14.5 offensive rebounds per game.
The 2012-13 season is a combination of experience and the unknown as the Lions returned eight letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's team that had the best season since the Elite Eight campaign at 21-13 overall and 11-5 (4th) in the WCC. With the experience, however, there is plenty of youth. The 15-man roster has just 15 years of NCAA Division-I basketball experience - one of the youngest rosters in the country.
The experience: LMU junior Anthony Ireland (23.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.3 apg), who was named Preseason All-WCC after earning First-Team All-Conference a year ago, Ashley Hamilton (13.5 ppg, 7.5 apg), a fifth-year senior who averaged over 11 points and 5.6 rebounds a year ago, and Godwin Okonji (5.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg), who has led the team in blocks the last two years. They enter the fourth game of the season having played 227 combined games and have combined to make 196 starts. In addition, junior Ayodeji Egbeyemi (12.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), who has started all six games of the season, and redshirt junior Alex Osborne (3.5 rpg) combine for 127 games of experience.
The youth: The rest of the Lions' scholarship roster is underclassmen. Sophomores Bruce English (missed first six games with ankle injury) and CJ Blackwell (missed first three games with knee injury, played 41 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 (6.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 apg), and freshmen Taj Adams (did not play last five games), Marin Mornar (3.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Nick Stover (6.7 ppg in 18.3 mpg) and Adam Drexler (7.0 mpg in two games).
AT THE POINT
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 72 games with 65 starts entering the Long Beach State game. After 79 points at the Great Alaska Shootout, he has 141 points and 26 assists to start the season, giving him 1,029 points and 289 assists (ranked 11th all-time) in his career. He is the 33rd Lion to score 1,000 in a career and is ranked 31st all-time. He has been on a tear since the close of last season. Going back to the Lions' three games at the CIT, which included a double-double and three 20-plus point games, Ireland is averaging more than 23 points, 6.2 rebounds and five assists per game in his last nine games. He earned his fourth career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds at SMU and then posted his 18th 20-point game with 26 on Saturday. The Lions are 10-8 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.
The only scholarship senior on the Lions' roster this season is fifth-year forward Ashley Hamilton, who has been dubbed the Mayor, and for good reason. Hamilton has been a part of the current coaching staff's revival of the LMU program from the beginning. Joining the program the same season Head Coach Max Good took over, Hamilton has now played in 85 games, making 68 starts as he continues his final campaign. Showing signs of dominance every season, Hamilton has been dealt with multiple injuries, including missing 12 games last season due to a foot injury. Completely recovered, Hamilton is a team captain and is within reach of career milestones at LMU as he is averaging 13.5 ppg and a team-best 7.5 rpg through six games. He enters the Long Beach State game with 815 points and 456 rebounds and is on pace to be the 14th Lion to earn 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. After leading the Lions with more than 20 points in the first two games last season, including 23 in the win over UCLA, Hamilton hurt his foot in game three and then missed the next 12. He still managed to finish the season with 241 points (11.0 ppg) and 123 rebounds (5.59 rpg).
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