The Gonzaga Bulldogs are on pace for their best season in history and off to their best start in conference play since going 14-0 during the 2008-2009 season. They’ll face a tough road trip next week as they try to make history, so they’ll use tonight’s home game against a struggling Loyola Marymount Lions to get locked in.
Gonzaga survived a scare on the road against the San Diego Toreros where they were pushed around by the smaller San Diego squad. The game served as a wake-up call for the Zags, who responded by rolling over the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday, winning easily 82-56 and showing the killer instinct of a great team against an overmatched foe.
Now, they face a daunting road trip down the stretch to face off against the Saint Mary’s Gaels and San Francisco Dons, sites of two of their conference losses in the 2011-2012 season. Mark Few will have his club laser-focused for those road trips to make sure his club comes out ready to put away another West Coast Conference regular season title.
But first they have to take care of business against LMU. The Bulldogs have been paying attention to the national college basketball stage and have seen the countless upsets of No. 1 teams by unranked or seemingly overmatched opponents. They are determined not to let the same fate happen to them, especially after it almost happened in San Diego. As point guard Kevin Pangos put it following the Pepperdine win, “We don’t relax for any game.”
That means the No. 6 Bulldogs will have their full attention on taking care of the Lions, losers of 22 straight games at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. LMU also finds itself in the middle of a seven-game losing streak, it’s longest skid in four seasons. The Lions will be looking for a bit of revenge against Gonzaga, who embarrassed them at home earlier this season in an 88-43 rout on January 31.
Unfortunately for the Lions, however, Gonzaga is on the verge of pushing it’s way into the top five (and maybe even as high as No. 3) in next week’s rankings after losses by the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers, No. 3 Florida Gators and a pair of losses from No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks. The Zags are auditioning to become one of college basketball’s top teams, and the Lions get to be the one put on their highlight reel.
Gonzaga isn’t taking anyone lightly down the home stretch, so expect their best when they take the floor tonight against LMU, and prepare for another dominant win against an overmatched foe.
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