Homestand Wraps-Up Thursday

BUay Tuach ranks in the top-25 within the WCC in five statistical categories.
Dec. 7, 2016


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LOS ANGELES - LMU men’s basketball continues their three-game week heading into finals for the fall semester when they host Southern Utah at Gersten Pavilion, Thursday, Dec. 8. It concludes a four-game homestand for the Lions (2-3) that started on Nov. 17. Tip-off against the Thunderbirds (2-6) is set for 7 pm on TheW.tv, Sling TV and can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM.

Date | Time: Thursday, Dec. 8 | 7 pm (PT)
Where: Gersten Pavilion | Los Angeles, CA
GAME PREVIEW: LMU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
The Match-up: LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
SUU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
Live Broadcast: TheW.tv | Sling TV
RADIO: KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online
Live Stats: StatBroadcast | GAMETRACKER
GameDay Info: GAMEDAY CENTRAL | BUY TICKETS | COMING TO LMU

THE MATCH-UP

• With just four games in the first month of the season, the Lions will pick up the pace quickly in December. It started Monday with Boise State, opening a stretch of three games in six days. They will play nine games in the month, including six games in the final two weeks of the year. The Lions are 2-3 after falling to Boise State at the buzzer, 80-79 on Dec. 5. The Lions enter the week leading the West Coast Conference in three-point field goal percentage defense (26.3 percent), which is also ranked ninth within the NCAA as of Dec. 6. They also lead the WCC in steals (8.4 spg), while ranking second in the league in assists (19.8 apg) after dishing out 26 on Monday. They are 32nd in the NCAA in steals per game and eighth in assists per game.

• Southern Utah enters the game at 2-6 overall, falling at Oakland, 78-68, on Dec. 3. The Thunderbirds play uptempo, averaging 81.3 points per game, which is ranked 59th in the nation, while allowing 82.4 per contest, which 324th nationally. The aggressive style as Southern Utah ranked third in the national in free throws attempted (266) and sixth in free throws made (185), while ranking 47th in three-pointers attempted (209) and 83rd in three’s made (69). Randy Onwuasor leads the team with 20.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest, going 13-for-41 from three and 57-for-70 from the free throw line.

• This will be the second meeting between the two teams, meeting for the only time on Dec. 30, 1997 in Gersten Pavilion. The Lions defeated the Thunderbirds 82-72 thanks to Haywood Eaddy’s 21 points and 11 rebounds.

PROMOTIONS

• It’s Study Break Basketball at LMU. With Finals Week starting Monday, LMU is in a stretch of hosting four games at Gersten Pavilion heading into the final week of the semester. The final two games of Study Break Basketball begins with the men hosting Southern Utah on Thursday. The CAGE PREGAME celebration will get the game started at 6 pm. The women will end the week with Long Beach State on Saturday at 2 pm. It is “Beat Beach, Beat Hunger” day for the Lions. In partnership with the LMU S.A.A.C., donate two cans of food at get $5 tickets anywhere in the arena.

• The month isn’t just about the games on the court. This week begins the month long project with the Bob Hope USO. LMU Athletics and LAX Community Relations Division have partnered to help support the Bob Hope USO. At all LMU games this holiday season, donate new, travel-sized personal care items to the Bob Hope USO, Items include: Toothpaste, Sunscreen, Mouthwash, Shaving Cream, Deodorant, and Shampoo. Look for donation bins throughout Gersten Pavilion from Nov. 22 - Dec. 26.

• Single game and season tickets are on sale, as well as, group ticket packages featuring special discounts. Go to LMULions.com/tickets to purchase. A reminder that all students, faculty and staff get into ALL LMU games for free with valid LMU OneCard.

INSIDE THE LIONS

• Five games into the season, the Lions (2-3) are led by seniors Brandon Brown and Buay Tuach. Brown leads the Lions with 12.4 points and 5.6 assists per game, going for a season-best nine assists against Boise State. He has scored in double digits the last four games, chipping in 13 Monday. Within the WCC, Tuach is ranked in the top-25 in points, assists and steals. He is 24th in points (11.6), 13th in asissts (3.0) and 5th in steals (1.6) with a team-high eight. He is also 12th in the league in three-point shooting, hitting 47.1 percent on the season (7-for-19).

• Last year the Lions ranked 26th nationally in turnover margin and set the school record for assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.37 (which was third in the WCC). They are currently second in the WCC in both categories with a turnover margin at +1.8 and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.4. They are ranked 23rd in the NCAA in assist-to-turnovers.

• The Lions shot over 50 percent from the field in back-to-back games, hitting 52.3 percent against Boise State after going for a season-best 57.4 percent in the win over Portland State. They hit 62.1 percent in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit. It is the third game this season the Lions have hit better than 50 percent, hitting 50.7 percent against Vanguard. It is the first time the Lions have posted back-to-back games over 50 percent since December of 2009. They hit 50 percent against Montana on Dec. 10 and then hit 51.6 percent in a win at Notre Dame on Dec. 12. They did it just twice all of last year. The Lions are fourth in the WCC at 48.4 percent on the season, ranking 48th nationally.

• The Lions post play has been key early this season, scoring 180 points in the paint in the first four games, including a seasons best 44 points on Monday. They held a 44-36 edge over Boise State, a 42-28 edge at Nevada and a 36-32 edge against PSU. Senior Shamar Johnson, who led the Lions Monday with 14 points and seven rebounds, is eighth in the WCC shooting 55.9 percent. Fellow senior Tuach is 10th at 53.5 percent. Also at 50 percent or better this season from the field are Stefan Jovanovic hitting 15-for-30, Erik Johansson hitting 8-for-16, Mattias Markusson at 6-for-10 and Petr Herman, who hit 3-for-4 for six points in just four minutes Monday, at 5-for-8.

• As of Dec. 7, the Lions led the WCC in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding teams to 26.3 percent. This includes Vanguard hitting 4-for-32 (.125), Nevada 6-for-17 (.353), UCONN 6-for-23 (26.1) and Portland State 5-for-21 (23.8 percent), including a 1-for-7 clip in the second half. Boise State finished 9-for-21 (42.9 percent) from three on Monday, but went just 2-for-6 in the second half. The Lions’ defense has been tough in the second half. The Lions are holding opponents to just 11-for-52 from three, 21.2 percent in the second frame.

• The Lions outscored UCONN 13-6 in points off turnovers and on the season LMU has outscored opponents 67-46 on turnovers. The Lions are tops in the WCC averaging 8.4 steals per game and had 10 against both UCONN and Vanguard. It has been balanced across the roster. Buay Tuach leads the Lions with eight, grabbing two against Portland State and Boise State. Kelvin Amayo and Munis Tutu has seven, grabbing three against UCONN and two against Boise State. Munis Tutu and Brandon Brown have six each. Brown had two against BSU while Tutu had three against Vanguard.

• The 48-point win to open the season was tied for the sixth largest in program history, equaling the Lions 78-31 win over San Diego on Dec. 10, 1958. Buay Tuach led the Lions with a career-best 20 points and Jeffery McClendon also netted a career-best with 15. They opened a new season with a win for the sixth straight season, improving to 41-21 in season openers since 1955-56.

• In that win, the Lions scored 57 points in the first 20 minutes. It was the most points in the opening half since the 1991 season... In the second half, LMU held the Lions to just 17 points, limiting them to just 5-for-35 from the field and 1-for-18 from the three-point line. It was the lowest half by an opponent since the Lions held Seattle to just 11 first half points in an 83-51 win on Nov. 23, 1996.

• They also finished that game with 27 assists on 36 made field goals. Munis Tutu led the Lions with six, while Kelvin Amayo and Brandon Brown had five. Brown ranked 10th all-time in LMU history with 177 assists last season while Tutu set the record for assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.69. The 27 assists was the most since putting up 30 against La Sierra on Dec. 21, 2013. They had 26 assists on 34 field goals against Boise State.

• The Lions out-rebounded Vanguard 59-36. Petr Herman led the Lions with 10 rebounds while adding eight points. The 59 rebounds were the most since they had 61 against Pacifica on Nov. 9, 2012. Freshman center Mattias Markusson had eight points and eight rebounds in his debut. His eight rebounds was one shy of Wyking Jones record of nine rebounds for most in a freshman’s first game. Jones did it against Morgan State on Nov. 22, 1991.

• The Lions return seven letterwinners from last year’s 2015-16 squad that finished six games better than the year before at 14-16 overall and 6-12 in the WCC (tied for 7th). The Lions have five seniors on the squad in 2016-17, including All-WCC selection Brandon Brown. Joining Brown after their first season as transfers last year are Shamar Johnson and Buay Tuach. Adding more senior leadership will be Stefan Jovanovic, a transfer from Hawaii who went 28-6 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, and Kelvin Amayo, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

UPNEXT

• The Lions will travel to CSUN on Saturday, Dec. 10 for a 7 pm game. It will be just the second road game of the season for the Lions and will complete a stretch of three games in six days.

• The Lions will then have finals week before returning home to host Incarnate Word on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 4 pm. The game is part of Alumni Family Day which features a doubleheader with the women and a special Alumni Tailgate Party. The action starts at noon with the tailgate, followed by the women taking on UC Riverside at 1 pm. Alumni can get special discounted tickets for $15 (13 and older - 12 and under are free!). The price includes admission to both games, admission to the tailgate, complimentary drink ticket (21+ and adults only), and a meal voucher for the concession stand for a a hot dog and soft drink. The tailgate will continue between games. For discounted tickets to the game and tailgate party, click here.

TICKETS

The best way to get tickets to this season of LMU basketball is still through season tickets. To renew season tickets, click MY ACCOUNT. To buy new season ticket, click BUY TICKETS. Have the promo code for the local community season ticket, click PROMO CODE.


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