Loyola Marymount Lions (11-15, 3-11) at Gonzaga Bulldogs (22-4, 12-1)
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Location: McCarthy Athletic Center, Spokane, Wash.
Time: 5:00 PM PST
TV: Root Sports NW/RM
Last Matchup: Gonzaga narrowly escaped LMU with a 10-point victory.
Gary Bell Jr.
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Drew Barham, Sam Dower, David Stockton and Brian Bhaskar will play their last game ever as a Gonzaga Bulldog in the McCarthy Athletic Center when Gonzaga hosts Loyola Marymount for their senior night game.
As odd as it is that Gonzaga will have their senior night in mid-February (Portland has theirs on the same night as well), that is how the schedule is composed this season and the Bulldogs will do their best to honor their seniors with a victory, while the Lions will look to spoil to the party.
Kevin Cacabelos, editor for the LaLoyolan, is reporting that LMU freshman guard Nino Jackson is no longer with the LMU basketball program. Jackson was considered by many the top recruit of the Lions highly regarded 2013 class, and his loss will disappoint several of the fans that followed that recruiting class closely.
Nonetheless, good luck to Jackson in his future endeavors.
Keys to the Game
No Ireland Allowed
If there is anyone who can spoil the Zags senior night, it is another senior in Anthony Ireland. Ireland is easily the Lions best player, and can score in bunches as well as set up shots for his teammates.
Expect Gonzaga to stick their best perimeter defender – Gary Bell Jr. – on Ireland and make sure he does not go off on the Bulldogs.
Ride the Payne Train
With LMU as injury stricken as they are right now, the Lions need to rely heavily on their starters to produce most of their points. As a senior, it is expected that Ireland will produce at a high level like he always does, so it is imperative for Payne to match that. The Lions will need great games from both Ireland and Payne in order to have a shot of beating the first place Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs looked like they were coasting at time against Pepperdine, but with senior night on the minds of the Zags it is unlikely they will slip up against the short-handed Lions. Gonzaga 82, LMU 67.