Loyola Marymount (3-2) at Alaska-Anchorage (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: None. Home Record: LMU 1-0, UAA 5-1. Away Record: LMU 1-1, UAA 0-0. Neutral Record: UAA 0-0, LMU 1-1. Conference Record: UAA 0-0, LMU 0-0. Series Record: LMU leads 1-0.
GAME NOTES: On the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout the Loyola Marymount Lions will get a shot at host Alaska-Anchorage at Sullivan Arena on Saturday.
The Lions bounced back from a 75-66 loss to Oral Roberts in the first round of the tournament to capture a convincing 78-63 victory over Texas State on Friday night. After that victory the Lions are now 3-2 overall this season including a 1-1 mark on the road. Three of the next four games for Loyola Marymount will be at home after this beginning against Long Beach State.
The Seawolves ripped off a late run in the second half and surged back to earn a 66-65 win over UC Riverside in its second game of the tournament. The win was the fifth already for UAA which took its only loss in the opening round against Belmont (74-60). The Seawolves will return to its normal home, the Wells Faro Sports Complex for its next four games.
Loyola Marymount won the only other contest between these teams with a 69-58 victory in 2006.
The Lions' shooting in the second half lifted it to the win over Texas State. LMU had connected on only 33.3 percent of its first half field goal attempts but upped that success rate to 57.1 percent over the final 20 minutes. The Lions also had the advantage of controlling the boards as they outrebounded Texas State by a 48-32 margin. Anthony Ireland yet again had a big night scoring 23 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
As a team, Loyola Marymount has had its share of offensive success this season scoring a hefty 77.2 points per game despite shooting a mediocre 44.9 percent from the floor. The Lions are also doing a good job on the boards brining in 41.0 per game which is within the top 50 in the country. On the other end of the floor teams are scoring only 66.6 points per game and shooting 38.7 percent from the field against the Lions. A bulk of the team's offensive firepower has come from Ireland (23.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.0 apg) who has been stellar in all phases. Ireland has also not been just a gunner as he shooting at a strong 50.6 percent from the field. Ayodeji Egbeyemi (14.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and Ashley Hamilton (13.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg) are each scoring in double figures as well, with Hamilton leading the solid rebounding efforts.
UAA trailed by 10 (60-50) with a little less than eight minutes remaining against UC Riverside. From there the Seawolves ripped off a 14-2 run to take a 64-62 lead with 2:30 remaining and would never relinquish it. The Seawolves shot at a 48.0 percent clip in the contest and took advantage of a 27-12 edge in points from beyond the arc. Kyle Fossman and Jalen Little led on the score sheet with 14 points each.
Fossman as the leading scorer for the Seawolves is becoming quite the trend. Fossman (15.3 ppg) is the top scorer on the season and has been particularly dangerous from beyond the arc where he has hit in 18-of-35 shots. That's twice as many triples as the next highest total on the team. That belongs to Stafford Teancum (12.2 ppg) who has made 9-of-25 shots from beyond the arc and is the only other player scoring in double figures. Mike MacKelvie (7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the top rebounder despite playing out of the backcourt. As a team the Seawolves own a solid +8.5 scoring differential while shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. On defense the team is limiting opponents to just a 36.3 success rate on field goal attempts including a 28.8 mark from 3-point range.
The Seawolves have proved to be a pesky out at home during this tournament. Expect them to yet again defend their court admirably but for Loyola Marymount to pull it out in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola Marymount 77, Alaska-Anchorage 65
11/24 10:31:38 ET