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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: LMU 5-9, USF 7-7. Away Record: LMU 2-12, USF 6-5. Neutral Record: LMU 2-1, USF 1-3. Conference Record: LMU 1-15, USF 7-9. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 107-38.
GAME NOTES: The No. 9 seed Loyola Marymount Lions look to pull off another upset as they clash with the San Francisco Dons in the second round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
The Dons hold a 107-38 all-time series lead versus the Lions coming into Thursday. San Francisco fended off LMU twice during the regular season to complete the season series sweep. The Dons coasted to a 62-53 victory at War Memorial Gymnasium on Jan. 19 before needed a runner with 0.5 seconds left to defeat the Lions in Los Angeles on Feb. 21.
The winner of this bout advances to take on the fourth-seeded Santa Clara Broncos on Friday.
Max Good's Lions snapped a 14-game slide on Wednesday as they defeated the eighth-seeded Portland Pilots, 65-54, in the opening round of action. Ashley Hamilton finished with 21 points and eight rebounds to propel LMU past Portland while Anthony Ireland added 12 points and four assists. The victory came after the Lions concluded the regular season with a 1-15 WCC record.
As it has struggled to collect wins, LMU has compiled the WCC's sixth best scoring offense at 65.6 ppg and the worst scoring defense with 69.5 points allowed per tilt. Ireland is the second leading scorer in the conference (20.3 ppg) and also deals out 3.7 assists per game. Hamilton adds 13.2 points and a team-best 6.9 boards per outing, but he is converting just 40.1 percent of his field goal attempts on the season. The Lions have been outscored by an average of 11.8 ppg by their conference foes in 2012-13.
Rex Walters's Dons have built some momentum before the postseason with three consecutive victories to close out their regular season slate. USF improved to 14-15 overall and 7-9 in WCC play a week ago with an impressive, 83-70, road victory over San Diego. Cole Dickerson led the team with 24 points and 12 rebounds against the Toreros. On the season, Dickerson is just below a double- double average with 14.9 points and 9.4 boards per tilt.
In their most recent action, the Dons outscored the Toreros in the paint, 38-32, and had a 29-28 edge in rebounding to push past USD. Mark Tollefsen added 19 points for the Dons, Doolin scored 16 points and De'End Parker chipped in with 11 points. Doolin is the team's second leading scorer with 12.6 ppg and he also distributes 5.6 assists per outing while De'End Parker chimes in with 11.9 ppg. USF has the fifth highest scoring offense in the nine-team WCC with 69.9 ppg, but it is just a tenth of a point better than LMU for the second-worst scoring defense with 69.4 points allowed per outing.
The Lions may be a little fatigued after going toe-to-toe with Portland on Wednesday. However, if they manage to muster up the endurance on back-to-back nights, they have a strong chance of advancing once again. LMU is clearly a much better team than its record indicates.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 70, Loyola Marymount 67
03/07 10:32:15 ET
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