After suffering a humbling conference loss ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs seek a quick turnaround, as the head to the City of Angels to take on the Loyola Marymount Lions in West Coast Conference action at the Gersten Pavilion.
Mark Few's Bulldogs had a showdown with the Gaels this week in a battle of two unbeatens in WCC play. The game did not go according to plan for Few, as his squad was blown out by the Gaels, 83-62. The loss halted an eight-game win streak for Gonzaga, which now sits in the three-way tie for second place in the conference standings at 3-1.
The Lions are one of those other squads at 3-1 in-conference. Max Good's team has turned things around of late, winning two straight and four of its last five games overall. This week Loyola Marymount finished up a two-game road trip with a 68-58 victory at Pepperdine.
Gonzaga holds a 56-21 lead in a series that dates back to 1953. The Zags have won each of the last three meetings and are an impressive 21-13 at LMU overall.
The Bulldogs certainly possess offensive talent, but they were simply unable to keep up with the offensive clinic that Saint Mary's put on Thursday, falling by 21 points to the Gaels. Gonzaga ended up shooting a modest .407 in the game, compared to a .508 clip for the Gaels. Elias Harris had a strong outing to lead the way in defeat. The junior forward finished with a double- double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. He was joined in double figures by freshman guard Kevin Pangos, who chipped in with 12 points. The offensive numbers have been better on the season as a whole, with Gonzaga averaging 74.4 ppg on a healthy .459 shooting. Pangos has made an immediate impact in his first season, averaging a team-high 14.1 ppg on the strength of .406 shooting from three-point range. The 6-1 youngster also serves as the team's top distributor, doling out 3.6 assists per game. Harris provides balance in the frontcourt with 13.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He is aided down low by center Robert Sacre, who checks in at 11.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per outing.
Loyola Marymount isn't an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination, averaging 71.1 ppg, on .423 shooting. However, the squad does possess a few scoring options, led by senior forward Drew Viney and sophomore guard Anthony Ireland. Viney can score from all over the floor and leads the team with 16.6 ppg. Ireland isn't far behind and has the ability to both score (14.9 ppg) and get others involved (5.2 apg). The return of junior forward Ashley Hamilton will certainly bolster this lineup down the stretch. Hamilton returned to the lineup this week after missing 12 games due to a foot injury. His 14.0 ppg is certainly a welcome addition. Junior guard Jarred DuBois (10.4 ppg) provides further depth, although he missed Thursday's action due to a concussion. Ireland and Viney led the way once again in this week's 10-point road win at Pepperdine, combining for 40 points. Ireland was 7-of-11 from the floor and led all scorers with 21 points. Viney posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.