Gonzaga endured a couple of LMU runs and defeated the Lions by a score of 82 to 72.
The Bulldogs led by 10 points at one point in the early second half, but LMU surged back and eventually took a 52-50 lead. It didn’t last long, as the Zags went on an 18-5 run of their own to retake the lead. Gonzaga was able to weather any surge that the Lions sent their way.
Sam Dower led the Bulldogs with 28 points and 14 rebounds. He was productive on the statsheet, but missed a great deal of easy shots. Dower could have easily had 30-35 points today. Drew Barham came up big in the second half hitting some big three’s down the stretch to put the Bulldogs over the hump. Overall Barham had 16 points, as well as making 4 of the 5 3-pointers he attempted. Gerard Coleman was only other Bulldog to finish in double-figures with 11 points, all of which came in the first half. Kevin Pangos led the Bulldogs in assists with 6.
Evan Payne was the primary point scorer for the Lions today, dropping 19 points on the afternoon on 7-13 shooting. Alex Osborne reached double-digit rebounds for LMU, grabbing 11 to lead the team. Anthony Ireland’s 9 assists led all players.
Keys to the Game Checklist
(Check) Score some points: The Lions were not god awful on the offensive end of the court, and put up 72 points as a team, keeping them in the game.
(X) Let Karnowski and Dower go to work: Although Dower scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, the Gonzaga guards dictated the offense today, and Dower got most of his work off of offensive rebounds (he had 6). Karnowski was a non-factor with only 7 points and 6 boards.
Matchup of the Game Revisited
Anthony Ireland versus Gonzaga Guards – Slight Advantage: Ireland
Ireland had a decent game tonight scoring the ball with 13 points, but he was really at his best tonight distributing. Kyle Dranginis was given the task of guarding Ireland, and Ireland dished out 9 assists despite being shadowed by the much bigger Dranginis.
Player of the Game
16 points, 4 rebounds, 6-7 shooting, 4-5 from the field, 2 steals. Efficient day from the senior.
The Bottom Line
LMU drops their now sixth straight game, but this loss will stick out like a sore thumb. Yes, the Lions still lost, but they put a good fight with the first place team in the conference, despite having six players out. LMU has been hammered by injuries, and their performance was admirable today considering that.
Gonzaga improves to 16-3 and 6-1 in conference play with the win. LMU falls to 10-10 overall and 2-6 in conference play with the loss.
The Bulldogs will return home next Thursday to take on San Diego, while LMU hits the road to face Pacific.