LMU to Host 6th Annual Holiday Classic
Final non-conference game of season features free admission, free parking and $1 hot dogs.
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LOS ANGELES - LMU men's basketball will continue their four-game homestand over the holidays with the sixth annual LMU Holiday Classic on Monday, Dec. 26th at 5 pm against Morgan State. The Classic features free admission, free parking and $1 hot dogs thanks to Sodexo. Come join the Lions the day after Christmas for this men's basketball family tradition.
|Date | Time:||Monday, Dec. 26 | 5 pm (PT)|
|Where:||Gersten Pavilion | Los Angeles, CA|
|The Match-up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
MSU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|RADIO:||KXLU 88.9 FM | Listien Online|
|Live Stats:||StatBroadcast | GameTracker|
|GameDay Info:||GAME IS FREE FREE ADMISSION $1 HOT DOGS
GAMEDAY CENTRAL | BUY TICKETS | COMING TO LMU
THE MATCH-UP SIXTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Hoops for the Holidays continues the day after Christmas when LMU will host the 2016 LMU Holiday Classic on Monday, Dec. 26 against Morgan State at 5 pm. This special Christmas addition of the annual classic will once again feature free admission for the local community and $1 hot dogs. Parking is free that day. Bring the entire family for this special game. For more information, call the LMU Ticket Office at (310) 338-LION (5466).
The senior led Lions, who are 6-4 on the season, have been cardiac kids of late, earning one-point decisions in three of their last five match-ups, with six of their last eight games decided on the last possession of the game (record of 3-3). The Lions are 4-3 in games decided by less than 10 points, going 2-1 in one-point games and 1-2 in three-point games. It was more of the same in the last match-up, as a pair of three-point attempts in the final seconds were off the mark in an 80-77 setback to UT Arlington on Thursday, Dec. 22. It was the ninth straight win for the Mavericks, who entered the game with an RPI of No. 24, and it snapped the Lions' four-game win streak.
Morgan State enters the game at 3-8 overall on the season, going 0-5 on the road. They most recently dropped a 96-55 decision to Penn State on Dec. 21. They have also fallen to Houston, Brown, Bowling Green and Rutgers on the road. The three wins at home have been to Wilmington, Campbell and Manhattan in double overtime. The Bears enter the game 25th in the nation in three-point field goal defense, holding teams to just 29.2 percent. It is the third time the Lions have faced a team in the top-25 in the category. UTA entered the game tops in the nation but the Lions managed to hit a season-high 12 three-pointers on 41.4 percent shooting. Tiwian Kendley leads the team at 22.9 points per game and is second in rebounds at 6.1. Phillip Carr is second on the team in scoring at 17.3 and leads the squad with 9.1 rpg.
This is will be the fifth overall meeting between the two programs. The series is even at two wins apiece with the Lions winning 79-62 at Gersten Pavilion in the last meeting on Dec. 27, 2012. They also won the first meeting on Nov. 22, 1991 at the LA Classic, 140-110. Morgan State won on Nov. 12, 2010, 81-79, in Gersten Pavilion and then again in Baltimore, 69-45, on Dec. 21, 2011.
INSIDE THE LIONS The Lions are 6-4 on the season as they continue their four-game homestand for the holidays. The match-up with the Bears will be the final non-conference game of the season before beginning WCC play on Dec. 29 against 19th-ranked Saint Mary's. They had a season-best four-game winning streak snapped on Dec. 22, falling to UT Arlington 80-77. The three-point decision continues the Cardiac Lions trend of close games this season. How close? Removing the season opener, the score in the other nine games has been 664 to 658. In addition to Thursday, the Lions had the game-tying three-pointer off the mark in a three-point setback to UCONN on Nov. 17, and then the game-winner just miss in an 80-79 setback to Boise State on Dec. 5. Then the last three games were even better. Stefan Jovanovic's put-back with nine seconds to play on Dec. 10 defeated CSUN 69-68. Trevor Manuel played his first game as a Lion against UIW, hitting two free throws with two seconds left to send it to overtime on Dec. 17. Brandon Brown and Buay Tuach then scored all 11 of the Lions' points in overtime for the win. On Dec. 19, the Lions erased a 10-point deficit with nine minutes to play to set-up Brown's game winner on the road.
Brown and Jovanovic are two of five seniors pacing the Lions this season and they both have been hot of late. Brown has had 20 points or better in four of the last five games, including the last three. He leads the team with 16.4 ppg and 5.2 apg after going for team's first double-double on Thursday, scoring 22 points with 11 assists. Within the WCC, Brown is tied for 10th in scoring and 6th in assists. Jovanovic has scored in the double figures in six straight games, including a pair of career-highs in the process. He is ranked 23rd in scoring and 4th in shooting at 63.5 percent, including a 5-for-7 effort Thursday.
Fellow senior Buay Tuach is 25th in the league scoring 11.2 ppg. Tuach is also ranked 12th in assists at 3.1 per game, 4th in steals at 1.5 spg, and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Senior Shamar Johnson averages 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He ranks 9th within the WCC in offensive rebounds at 1.9. The fifth senior on the roster, Kelvin Amayo, is averaging 6.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.7 apg and 0.9 spg.
The Lions post play has been key early this season, outscoring opponents 360 to 251 in points in the paint the first 10 games, including setting a season best three of the last six games. They had a then season's best 44 points against Boise State on Dec. 5 and then exploded for a 50-33 edge in the win over CSUN on Dec. 10. They did one better on Dec. 17, holding a 54-14 edge in points in the paint against UIW. It is the widest margin on record in last 20 years. In the win over the Rams Monday, they held a 30-12 edge in points in the paint and a 15-4 edge in second chance points. They held a 22-18 edge on Thursday against UTA.
Second chance points were thanks to a rebounding edge on Monday at CSU. The Lions improved to 5-0 on the season when they out-rebound their opponent, holding a 40-31 edge over CSU. Against UIW, they held a 43-30 edge on the glass and held a 21-7 advantage in second chance points. They are 5-0 when holding an edge in second chance points... They are 5-0 when they shoot better than their opponents, 6-2 when scoring more points in the paint and 4-1 with more points off turnovers. They held a 17-16 edge over CSU.
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. It is the first time the Lions have posted back-to-back games over 50 percent since December of 2009. They hit 62.1 percent in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit. On Monday, they hit 50 percent in the second half against CSU to erase another 10-point deficit, hitting 13-for-26. They nearly did it again against UTA, hitting 55.6 percent in the second half and had a chance at the tie after tailing by nine with just over six minutes to play. The Lions went over 50 percent for the fourth time on the season with a 53.6 percent effort in the win over CSUN. LMU shot 50 percent or better just twice all of last year.
Senior Stefan Jovanovic set a career-high for the second time in the Lions' win streak, going for 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting at CSU. He had a then career-best 16 points in the win over CSUN, going 7-for-9 from the field. He is now 4th in the WCC on the season hitting 63.5 percent. Senior Shamar Johnson, who led the Lions against Boise State with 14 points and seven rebounds, is is shooting 50.7 percent on the season (34-for-67). The Lions are fourth in the WCC as a team, shooting 47.7 percent.
More rankings... the Lions are 3rd in the WCC in steals at 7.2 per game. Tuach is fourth in the league with 1.4 per game while Brown is 9th... The Lions had nine blocks against UIW on Saturday. Jovanovic is 8th in the WCC with 0.9 bpg. Of the nine on Saturday, four came from sophomore Trevor Manuel in his debut. The mid-season transfer from Oregon played his first game on Saturday against UIW, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds, the four blocks and two steals. He went 4-for-8 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, including the two that sent the game to overtime... Jovanovic is 5th in the league in offensive rebounds at 2.2 per game while Johnson is 9th 1.9.
UPNEXT YEAR-END CELEBRATION: LMU will begin play within the West Coast Conference with two of the best. Help the Lions close-out the 2016 calendar year and begin the WCC season in grand style with this special two game package to watch the Lions take on Saint Mary's on Thursday, Dec. 29 and then BYU on Friday, Dec. 31. Get one upper level ticket to each game for just $40 and lower level package is just $50. CLICK HERE FOR YEAR-END PACK.
FAMILY NEW YEAR PACK: Close out 2016 on the right foot by bringing the family to the WCC Showdown between the Lions and BYU. This special family package is for 4 upper level tickets and 4 free hot dog coupons for just $80 when the Lions take on BYU on Saturday, Dec. 31. End 2016 right with Lion basketball. CLICK HERE FOR FAMILY PACK.
Support LMU's 22 intercollegiate teams and it's student-athletes through scholarships and team support by joining the Lions Athletics Fund. Your help will make LMU #LIONSTRONG.
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