Despite a late second half comeback, Loyola Marymount was not able to prevail in the opening round of the Paradise Jam, losing to Northern Iowa by a score of 90 to 81.
Although LMU made a run late in the second half, it was not enough to put a W in the score column. With 4:34 to play, LMU went on a 9-0 run to cut Northern Iowa’s lead to 5. However, the Panthers followed that with a 9-0 run of their own, and sealed the victory. An influx of second half fouls and trouble guarding the three-point line made a late comeback almost insurmountable for LMU.
Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 24 points. Freshman Evan Payne was not far behind with 22 points.
Gabe Levin had another all-around solid game for the Lions, scoring 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season.
Junior guard Deon Mitchell was a thorn in the side for the Lions. He had 23 points to lead the Panthers, along with 5 assists. Junior forward Seth Tuttle had a double-double of his own with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Bohannon had 22 points in the contest.
Stat of the Night
Before this game, Northern Iowa was averaging 35.9% from the three-point line. What did they shoot tonight? 57.1%. The Panthers ability to knock down shots from behind the arc made it able for them to obtain a lead, which they sustained for the entirety of the game.
Keys to the Game Checklist
Run the Floor – ?
The game was high scoring, but did LMU dictate the tempo? That is up for debate. It is likely that neither controlled the tempo, but Northern Iowa simply executed better than the Lions.
Hit the Three – Check Minus
The Lions shot 40.0% from the three-point line, but did not hit enough three’s to put them over the hump in this contest.
The Bottom Line
Loyola Marymount is a young team that has performed well late in games, prior this one. Naturally, LMU will go through a decent amount of growing pains this season.
My point? it would be unreasonable to expect a team that is this young to win every close game. The Lions played a seasoned team that plays fundamentally sound. The Lions nor their fanbase should be discouraged by this loss.
The Lions will take on the loser of Maryland and Marist, which is going on as we speak.