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GAME 18: LMU Lions @ USD Toreros Preview

GAME 18:  LMU Lions @ USD Toreros Preview

I’m not going to start off by expressing my thoughts about last game.  As much as it hurts to lose, especially in the manner they lost, what’s done is done.  It’s in the past, and I implore you all, as well as myself, to move on.

As for tomorrow, that chapter of the book that is this season has yet to be written.  The page has been turned and a blank one has appeared.  It is up to the Lions to write the next page.  Will it be a story of greatness and triumph, or a story of bleakness and despair?

The story being written is, of course, that of the 18th game this season-the Lions’ against the Toreros.  Now, every game is important, but this one is pivotal to the outcome of the season.  A loss here to begin the road trip will have negative momentum in the upcoming game against San Francisco.  Two losses in a row here drops LMU to 1-5 and virtually out of contention of anything worth note in the WCC.  In an ideal world, LMU would have came out and ran the Pilots out of the building and carried the momentum from that game into this one, but that didn’t happen.

So here’s what LMU is up against:  San Diego is 3-0 in conference play.  They’re facing LMU, who is in the bottom half of the conference. San Diego has played an easy conference schedule so far (wins against Portland, San Fran, and Pepp.), but wins are wins.  When comparing these teams stats, you see that they are pretty evenly matched.  The only large gaps are in rebounding (LMU averages 5 more than USD), and blocks (USD has almost 2 more than LMU per game).  This should be a relatively close game.  Both teams play around the same tempo and score in the same general areas.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

LMU dominates the rebounding game and will have to continue to own the glass.  They’ll really need to depend on their offensive rebounding abilities if they shoot as poorly as they did against Portland.

 

No one player is the key scorer for the Toreros (Johnny Dee has 15 ppg), so look for them to try and get everyone a touch, as each of their top scorers is skilled at shooting the ball.  LMU will need to defend more aggressively than in previous games.  LMU can’t continue to let opponents out-block them and create more turnovers than them.

 

      LMU will need to have their starters provide more than usual.  Their bench is going to be short-handed tomorrow, with the questionable status of Godwin Okonji (F) who turned his ankle in Saturday’s game, as well as Chase Flint who is stil recovering from the stress reaction in his shin.  LMU is definitely short-handed tomorrow and will need all the support they can get from their starters against this stingy San Diego defense.

 

PREDICTION:            LMU 68, USD 73

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GAME 17: LMU vs Portland 1/12/13

GAME 17:  LMU vs Portland 1/12/13
 When  Saturday, Jan. 12th
 Time  10 pm EST
 Where  Gersten Pavilion; Los Angeles, CA
 Broadcast  KXLU 88.9 FM, WCC Digital, Lions All-Access

8-8.  The current record of the LMU Lions going into tomorrow’s game in the last game of this homestand before heading off to San Diego on Wednesday.

The Lions are coming off two straight WCC losses before picking up their first win in conference play last night in an upset win over Santa Clara.  And that was by no means an easy win.  After being down 18-5 early, the Lions persevered and pulled out the hard-fought W against an unusually tough SCU team, one that may be one of the only teams that will be able to contest Gonzaga for the WCC Title.

In contrast, the upcoming game for the Lions is going to be against a much different opponent than Santa Clara; an opponent that, for lack of a better word, is worse than LMU.  Portland is coming into this game winless in conference play and obviously looking to win that first game to get them over the hump.

LMU, on the other hand, is finally looking to build on that momentum from the win yesterday.  A win today would propel the Lions into next week back at .500 in conference play and ready to take on the road series.  So in all, this game is crucial to the success in the next two road games.  A loss to this sub-par Portland team would be absolutely deflating and could lead to some losses in LMU’s next three games, arguably their easiest of the season.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

Obviously, Hamilton has to be on the money.  LMU is 2-4 this season when he shoots under 40%.  He’s got a good shot at scoring some points tomorrow against a Portland team lacking a quality defensive big man to guard him.  He’s also shooting well behind the three-point line this season, at 45% (4th-best in the WCC).

 

 

LMU HAS to rebound.  Portland is a force to be reckoned with on the glass, averaging about 34 rebounds/game.  That’s pretty impressive, since LMU averages slightly less.  Neither of these teams is very high-scoring (Portland averages 59 ppg), so winning the rebound war and getting those extra possessions is key to coming out on top.

 

PREDICTION:

I think LMU will prevail 74-68 in a game where Hamilton dominates as usual and Anthony Ireland tears up the Pilots’ backcourt.  Portland will keep it close, though, due to their ability to hold LMU to a low FG% and get key offensive rebounds off the backs of Ryan Nicholas (F) and Thomas van der Mars (C).

 

    LMU 74-Portland 68

 

 

 

 

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2012-13 LMU Lions Roster

2012-13 LMU Lions Roster

 

2012-13 LMU Lions Roster
# Player Pos Ht Wt
0  Taylor Walker  Guard  6-1  180
1  Bruce English  Guard  6-1  190
2  C.J. Blackwell  Forward  6-5  240
3  Anthony Ireland  Guard  5-10  175
5  Ashley Hamilton  Forward  6-7  210
10  Taj Adams  Forward  6-7  180
11  Nick Stover  Forward  6-6  200
15  Alex Osborne  Forward  6-7  240
21  Adam Drexler  Forward  6-5  185
22  Godwin Okonji  Forward  6-8  220
23  Chase Flint  Guard  6-1  180
24  Ayodeji Egbeyemi  Guard  6-4  205
42  Marin Mornar   Forward  6-9  185
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