Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - A layup by Anthony Ireland with 5.9 seconds
remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Loyola Marymount Lions stunned
the Santa Clara Broncos, 60-58, in the quarterfinals of the West Coast
Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
Ireland finished with a team-best 23 points for the ninth-seeded Lions (11-22)
who are currently enjoying their first three-game win streak of the season.
Ireland shot just 1-of-6 behind the 3-point line on the night, but made up for
that lack of accuracy by registering seven steals. Ashley Hamilton was
credited with 13 points and nine boards, followed by Nick Stover with 11
points off the bench.
The fourth-seeded Broncos (21-11) were paced by Kevin Foster who tallied 23
points for his squad, but he shot a mere 3-of-11 beyond the arc and 5-of-19
from the floor overall, not to mention suffering seven turnovers. Marc
Trasolini dropped in 10 points in defeat.
Santa Clara shot a mere 37.9 percent from the floor through the first 20
minutes of action, yet that was still good enough to lock the score at 34-34
at the break.
Things began to get interesting late in the second half when a pair of free
throws by Foster gave the Broncos a 58-57 edge with 26.8 seconds left in
regulation. Ireland then walked the ball up the floor and broke to the basket
to convert a clutch layup.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Hamilton fouled Brandon Clark unintentionally in
the backcourt and that sent the reserve to the charity stripe with 4.2 seconds
remaining. Unfortunately, Clark missed the front end of a one-and-one, Ireland
grabbed the rebound and consequently knocked down one of two at the stripe in
order to extend the margin to two points.
The Broncos still had two seconds left to change the outcome, but Foster's
heave from half court missed the mark.
With the win the Lions, who had dropped 14 straight conference games en route
to the WCC Tournament, now advance to the semifinals on Saturday night where
they will go up against top-ranked Gonzaga.
The Sports Network