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Published September 13, 2015
Loyola Marymount's season of struggle hit another low against No. 7 Gonzaga.
The Lions were blown out 88-43 on Thursday night, their sixth straight loss to the Zags and their fifth in a row overall.
"They're a well-oiled machine," said Anthony Ireland, who made five 3-pointers while scoring 19 points to lead the Lions (8-13, 1-7 West Coast). "For us to beat them we have to play an almost perfect game."
It was just the opposite. The Lions got outclassed in every category on their way to losing for the seventh time in eight games.
"We didn't give a full effort," Ireland said. "You'd think everyone would come out amped, but it wasn't that way. You got to play with pride. It's something I have been stressing to the team. We give up and don't dig deep."
Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points, including five of Gonzaga's season-high 13 3-pointers. Kelly Olynyk added 15 points, and Sam Dower and Drew Barham had 13 each for the Zags (20-2, 7-0), ensuring coach Mark Few his 14th consecutive season with at least 20 victories.
Ireland was the only Lion in double figures.
"We were aware of how good a player he is," Few said. "He can shoot the deep 3 as he comes across the line."
It was the Zags' fourth consecutive blowout league victory, and they got the rout going early as the highest-ranked opponent to visit Gersten Pavilion since being here as the No. 5 team in February 2006. They led by 28 points at halftime and gradually expanded the margin even as Few substituted liberally.
Gonzaga stretched its lead to 81-34 with a 21-5 run midway through the second half. The Zags hit five 3-pointers, three by Barham, and David Stockton, son of Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer John, added a 3-pointer and two free throws.
The Lions held to their fewest points of the season. They shot 25 percent from the field and committed 14 turnovers.
"We just got to win a game. We can't worry about winning four or five," Lions coach Max Good said. "We have to compete harder."
Gonzaga shot 54 percent for the game, controlled the boards 46-31, and its bench outscored the Lions' reserves 47-4. The Zags owned a 30-10 edge in points in the paint and shot 50 percent from the free throw line.
"They got a lot of depth," Good said. "Gonzaga has a good aggressive team that is going to get on you."
The Zags have won three straight since losing to then-No. 13 Butler by one point on Jan. 19.
They shot 57 percent from the field in the first half, when the Zags led 46-18. They made eight 3-pointers, including four straight during a 15-0 run while the Lions went 6:25 without a basket. The Lions got as close as six points when Ireland and Ashley Hamilton combined to score 10 straight points before Gonzaga cranked up its long-range shooting. Hamilton had the Lions' only basket over the final 9:52 of the half.
Seventeen NBA scouts were on hand, including ones from the Lakers and Clippers.