The No. 7 Gonzaga Bulldogs invade the City of Angels tonight as they take on Loyola Marymount in a game featuring two teams at opposite ends of the West Coast Conference standings. Gonzaga is 8-1 against the Lions over the last four years.
The Zags have been a wrecking ball in WCC play, storming out to an unblemished 6-0 mark and 19-2 overall record. Winners in 10 of their last 11 games, Gonzaga visits Los Angeles following two blowout wins over BYU and San Francisco. Head coach Mark Few has the Bulldogs clicking on all cylinders. They’re 9th in the nation in scoring (78.9 ppg) and first in the WCC in scoring defense (63 ppg). Gonzaga has fire power enough to keep up with anyone in the nation.
Loyola Marymount finds itself in a heap of trouble after a four-game losing streak has pushed their league mark to 1-6. They’re averaging only 61 points per game over the skid.
The game might be one-sided but that doesn’t make it unwatchable. It’ll feature two of the top scorers in the conference in Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk and Lions junior Anthony Ireland.
Olynyk, a seven-footer, is having a monster year for the Bulldogs, averaging 18.2 points and seven rebounds a game but has stepped it up in conference games, averaging 23.2 ppg. His supporting cast includes Elias Harris and Kevin Pangos, who combine for 27 points and three steals per game.
LMU has some complimentary scorers to help ease the burden placed on Ireland. London, England native Ashley Hamilton is 9th in the West Coast Conference in scoring at 14.5 ppg while Ayodeji Egbeyemi chips in 10.7 points and six rebounds per game. The Lions don’t have problems scoring, they do, however, have a problem stopping others from scoring–opponents are scoring 70.6 ppg and shooting 38% on three-pointers.
Gonzaga should continue their dominance over the Loyola Marymount thanks to their stingy defense and high-flying offense. This game is likely to be a blowout and not worth watching unless you want to see Olynyk and Ireland put on a show.