March 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions mascot performs against the Portland Pilots during the first half of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

LMU Game Recap: Lions Take Down Northern Arizona, Improve to 4-0


LMU took down Northern Arizona today 90 to 78 in its home opener.

Anthony Ireland was the Lions leading scorer, scoring 18 points. Freshman Evan Payne provided a much needed punch off the bench, scoring 16 points in 25 minutes of action.

Another freshman, Gabe Levin, gave the Lions quality minutes tonight. The Lions starting power forward pulled down 10 rebounds (led team) and scored 15 points to record a double-double, his first of his collegiate basketball career.

Ireland recorded a double-double himself, adding 10 assists to his 18 points.

Chase Flint’s efficient shooting was on display in this game, scoring 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting.

A pair of 20 point scoring performance helped pace Northern Arizona in this contest. Lumberjack forward Max Jacobson scored 28 points, and guard Quinton Upshur was not far behind with 25.

Stat of the Night

 

Anthony Ireland was not renowned for taking care of the ball last year. As a junior, Ireland’s assist to turnover ratio was 1.1. This year so far? 3.1.

 

The Bottom Line

 

The Lions looked transformed from last season, and the freshman are a big reason to do with that.

Gabe Levin, Evan Payne, and when healthy Nino Jackson have been the difference makers thus far this season.  Levin is averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, Payne is averaging 11.8 points off the bench, and Nino Jackson is averaging 1.5 assists.

On top of that, Anthony Ireland has turned into a more complete point guard. Although his points are down from 20.2 points per game from last season to 16.5 this season, his assists have almost doubled (7.0 APG from 3.6 APG).

 

Tags: Basketball College Basketball LMU LMU Lions Loyola Marymount Lions WCC West Coast Conference