Lions forward/center Kellie Leaupepe (34) scored a team high 17 points and added 7 rebounds in the team's home opener loss to Chattanooga. 

In a rough opening night, LMU fell short 75-64 to UT Chattanooga this past Tuesday, Nov. 9. Chattanooga’s David Jean-Baptiste led the team with 26 points and LMU’s Keli Leaupepe finished the game with 17 points. During the game, Lions star Eli Scott scored his 1,500th point for LMU, a milestone that few have achieved.

Despite this outstanding achievement, Chattanooga was able to contain both Scott and recent off-season acquisition Cam Shelton, limiting them to a combined total of 12 shots and only 15 points. On the other side of the court, Jean-Baptiste and Malachi Smith combined for 47 points, 5 assists and 4 steals.

This is definitely a tough loss given that there are such high expectations for this team this year. However, one silver lining of this first loss is that Lion's stars didn't perform their best and it was still a close game. If Leaupepe can keep up his production and the Lions can get Shelton and Scott going as well, look for much different results in the future.

The Lions were competitive up until the end despite not performing too great on the court. As a team, the Lions shot 38.6% from the field and 25% from three. They were out-rebounded 37-34 and had 12 turnovers to Chattanooga’s 6. An improvement in any of these areas could easily turn a game like this one in the Lions' favor, and I’m confident that such improvements will come.

Lions fans should remain excited for a strong season ahead as this was simply one loss. Expect the Lions to bounce back against Arizona Christian University this Saturday, Nov. 13 as they will look to get their first of hopefully many wins this season.

This is the opinion of Ben Barrett, a senior journalism major from Brooklyn, New York. Email comments to Tweet comments to @LALoyolan and like the Loyolan on Facebook.

Ben is a senior journalism major from Brooklyn, New York. He is an assistant sports editor for the Loyolan and enjoys covering basketball, football, and soccer. Twitter: @benlevvv

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