Los Angeles, CA – Ashley Hamilton scored 23 points and 58 win over No. 17 UCLA in the season opener for both teams.
The contest was played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, the temporary home for the Bruins (0-1), while Pauley Pavilion undergoes an extensive renovation. Reeves Nelson and David Wear each had 13 points for UCLA.
The Bruins had won the last 12 meetings, but Friday marked their first loss to LMU since dropping a 40-34 decision at home during the 1941-42 season.
The Lions (1-0) were ahead by just five points with under five minutes remaining, but Ireland made a big jumper and Hamilton followed with a three- ball to widen the gap to 65-55.
"I thought we really got hurt a number of ways. They were able to drive us all night. We got hurt on penetration," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "We made a lot of defensive breakdown mistakes."
The Bruins trailed by as many as eight in the first half, but were only down 34-33 at the break.
Travis Wear's jumper moved UCLA to a 42-41 lead, but the Lions put in the next 12 points, including three-balls from Ayodeji Egbeyemi and Ireland. Hamilton's two free throws capped the burst for a 53-42 difference with 13:22 left.
UCLA never made it a one-possession game from that point on.
This was the first ranked opponent for the Lions to open a season since they faced eventual national champion UNLV on November 15, 1989 to start the elite eight run of 1989-90...UCLA is 7-2 in home and season openers under Howland. Last year, the Bruins posted an 83-50 blowout win over Cal State Northridge (Nov. 12) in Pauley Pavilion...The Lions finished the 2010-11 season 11-21 and 2-12 in the WCC, while UCLA was 23-11 last season. They beat Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament before being bounced by Florida in the second round.