Loyola Marymount (2-1) vs. Oral Roberts (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 22, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Sports Arena (8,500) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: LMU 1-0, ORU 1-0. Away Record: LMU 1-1, ORU 1-1. Neutral Record: LMU 0-0, ORU 0-0. Conference Record: LMU 0-0, ORU 0-0. Series Record: Oral Roberts leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and Loyola Marymount Lions will tip off the second day of action at the Sullivan Sports Arena when the two teams square off in the first round of the 35th Great Alaska Shootout.
The winner will advance to face either Texas State or Charlotte in the next round on Thursday, with the losers facing off in a consolation game.
The Lions improved to 2-1 with a 76-73 triumph over Cal State Bakersfield. Loyola Marymount opened up its season with a 108-49 thrashing of Pacifica before it was handed its first loss of the season in Dallas by Larry Brown and the SMU Mustangs. The Lions are coming off a 21-13 season, which is the most successful the program has seen since the 1989-90 Elite Team. This will be LMU's third stint in the Great Alaska Shootout since 2002.
Scott Sutton's Golden Eagles are 2-1 early on in the 2012-13 season after their 69-67 victory over Pacific on Monday. Oral Roberts was tied with the Tigers late in the game before Warren Niles made a couple of clutch baskets in the closing stages of the contest to seal the victory. Sutton's team is considered a favorite to win the Southland Conference in its first year in the league. An first-round win would give the team its best record to start the season since the 2006-2007 campaign.
This will be the seventh installment of the series between Loyola Marymount and Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles hold a 4-2 edge all-time in a series that has been idle since 2006.
The Golden Eagles led for over 35 minutes of their game versus Pacific, but ended up trailing late in the game after they allowed their opponent to drain 10-three-pointers. Oral Roberts managed to fight back behind the strong performances of Niles, Steven Roundtree, and Damen Bell-Holter, who combined for 56 of the team's 69 points. It also used a sizeable 36-22 advantage in the rebounding battle to help keep the Tigers at bay. Niles finished the contest with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. Roundtree netted 19 points and Bell-Holter added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. After averaging 12.1 ppg last season as a junior, Niles is producing 24.7 ppg, while making 65 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Its last time out, LMU knocked down 10-of-17 from 3-point range and held a 37-26 edge in the rebounding battle to get past Cal State Bakersfield. The Lions were aggressive offensively which led to 27 free throw attempts. However, they were unable to coast to an easy victory due to 16 turnovers and poor defense. Anthony Ireland had a monster performance with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Chase Flint, Ashley Hamilton, and Nick Stover all scored in double-figures as well. Ireland is playing unbelievable in the early going with averages of 20.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per contest. The junior point guard is also converting 52.5 percent of his field goals. Ayodeji Egbeyemi is second on the squad in scoring with 14.3 ppg, while Hamilton is carrying 12.3 point and 7.7 rebound per game averages.
Both sided were willed to a win by their leaders in their most recent appearances. Neither side is very sound defensively, which means this will most likely turn into a shootout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oral Roberts 74, Loyola Marymount 70
11/22 10:32:21 ET