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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: None. Home Record: LMU 1-0, Texas State 2-1. Away Record: LMU 1-1, Texas State 0-0. Neutral Record: LMU 0-1, Texas State 0-1. Conference Record: LMU 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Loyola Marymount Lions and the Texas State Bobcats will matchup on Friday in the consolation bracket of the Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.
Despite a 30-point eruption from Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount didn't have enough to get by Oral Roberts in the first round of the tournament. The loss was the second of the season for the Lions who have split their four games. The two wins came against Pacifica University (108-49) and CS Bakersfield (76-73) with the other loss at SMU (73-58).
Texas State's first foray away from San Marcos did not end on a positive a note, Despite clawing their way to a tie late in the game, the Bobcats were bested by Charlotte (73-64) in their first round matchup in the tournament. That gives the Bobcats a split (2-2) of their first four games. Only one of those wins came against a Division I foe with a triumph over Fordham (86-76) in the season opener.
Both teams will await the results of the rest of Friday's action to determine who they play on the final day of the tournament.
This will mark the first time these two squads have ever been matched up.
On his way to his career-high 30 points, Ireland knocked down 11-of-21 shots including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. However since he had the ball in his hands for a majority of the game he also committed a team-high five turnovers. Outside of Ireland the rest of the team was dismal in shooting, connecting on 13-of-38 shots and 2-of-14 from beyond the arc.
Due to its rout of Pacifica in the season opener, Loyola Marymount's scoring numbers as a team (77.0 ppg) are a bit misleading. With that effort removed the Lions are scoring a reasonable 66.7 points per game, while shooting just 38.9 percent from the floor. Ireland's numbers don't really need inflating though as he is leading the team in scoring (23.0 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), assists (5.2 apg) and steals (2.2 pg) while shooting at a 52.5 percent clip. Ashley Hamilton (13.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is a nice compliment for Ireland on the inside while Ayodeji Egbeyemi (13.2 ppg) is another double-figure scorer in the backcourt. No other player on the team is scoring more than 7.5 points per game. Nick Stover (6.8 ppg) is the top reserve and the only player of the bench to be playing more than 16 minutes per game.
Texas State trailed by double digits past the 10 minutes mark in the second half against Charlotte but found a way to take a lead late. However after the Bobcats pulled ahead 64-62 with just over five minutes left, the team was not able to get another bucket the rest of the way. Texas State shot just 36.5 percent from the floor overall and committed 20 turnovers while forcing 22 from the 49ers. Joel Wright led the team in scoring with 15 points.
Wright has consistently been at the top of the stat sheet for the Bobcats. The junior forward is scoring a team-high 19.8 points per game, while also managing to haul in a team-best 7.2 rebounds a contest. Matt Staff (15.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) also puts up solid numbers in points and rebounds, while shooting at an even 50.0 percent clip from the field. Wesley Davis (10.8 ppg) has been able to score with some consistency but has really been vital for his defensive pressure as he has collected 2.8 steals per game. He has had at least two takeaways in each game. Despite not being a particularly strong shooting team (40.2 FG percentage) the Bobcats are still scoring at an impressive rate, posting 77.8 points per game.
There's no question that Ireland has the ability to take over a game but it has yet to be seen if he can consistently get the Lions in the win column. Without a prolific scorer to duke it out with Ireland though, Texas State may be in trouble.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola Marymount 75, Texas State 68
11/23 10:52:15 ET
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