Loyola Marymount Lions vs. Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
Date: Friday, November 14
Location: Gersten Pavilion
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
MEET THE TEAMS
The Loyola Marymount Lions are looking to start the 2014-15 season on a positive note under new head coach, Mike Dunlap. Senior Godwin Okonji returns to LMU’s front court and is a force to be reckoned with in the paint, and transfer guard David Humphries is set to make an immediate impact for this Lions team.
March 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions forward Godwin Okonji (22) dunks against the Portland Pilots during the second half of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
A standout at Northern Iowa Area Community College, the Australian-born Humphries made history last year, becoming the first two-time All-American basketball player in NIACC history. He’s recorded an astounding two career triple doubles and 18 (18!) career double doubles during his time in the NIACC. It will be interesting to see how his elite outing at Northern Iowa Area CC transfers to the NCAA, but with an experienced coach like Dunlap (who is most renowned for player development) monitoring his transition, it’s safe to say Humphries is bound to make a statement in the West Coast Conference.
Joining Humphries in the back court is sophomore guard Evan Payne. Averaging 15.5 points per game in the 2013-14 season, Payne was the Lions’ second leading scorer, only behind former LMU star, Anthony Ireland. Though only a sophomore, Payne remains one of Loyola Marymount’s greatest assets as a versatile playmaker and dynamic scoring option.
The Lions came out victorious in their thrilling exhibition game against UC San Diego. After trailing by 14 midway through the first half, LMU managed to increase their offensive firepower and shoot a resounding 51% on the night. Okonji scored 14 points on 5-6 shooting, while Humphries led the team with 23 points. Senior guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi also coined in a solid 15 points for the Lions. Loyola Marymount beat UCSD with a heart-pounding final score of 68-67, taking with them all the momentum that they will look to utilize against the Redhawks.
Southeast Missouri State
After finishing in second place in the Ohio Valley – West standings in the 2013-14 season, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks prepare for a challenge against Loyola Marymount. Head coach Dickey Nutt was proud of his team’s effort in their exhibition opener against Fontbonne University last Saturday. The Redhawks defeated the Fontbonne Griffins by a final score of 103-61, securing their dominance with a 52-38 edge in rebounding and 50% shooting from the floor.
Dec 21, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Southeast Missouri State Redhawks guard Antonius Cleveland (4) dunks the ball against the Memphis Tigers during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Tigers beat the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 77 – 65. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Junior guard Isiah Jones dished out 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for the Redhawks, while forward Nino Johnson added a double double, contributing 12 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five blocks.
Southeast freshman Ladarius Coleman got off to a hot start in his collegiate career, knocking down 16 points and going 4-5 from behind the arc. If he can continue to put up stats that impressive, he is going to be quite the gem for the Redhawks throughout his time at SE Missouri State. While we must keep in mind that this impressive performance was only in an exhibition game, it is clear to see that Coleman has the potential to be a sharp-shooting offensive weapon for the Redhawks.