Lions Fall in Tight One

Ashley Hamilton had 16 points Saturday.

Jan. 14, 2012

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It was another tight one at Gersten Pavilion between Gonzaga and LMU as an early second-half defensive stand was just enough for the Zags.

Kevin Pangos hit six-for-six from the free throw line in the final four minutes and two of Elias Harris' game-high 19 points came with seven seconds left to lift No. 21 Gonzaga to a 62-58 win over LMU at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday night.

Ashley Hamilton led the Lions with 16 points, while LaRon Armstead added 14 and Anthony Ireland 11. Joining Harris in double-figures was Gary Bell, Jr., with 16 points. Pangos, Gonzaga's leading scorer had nine points, all in the second half.

"We just couldn't get over the hump tonight," said Head Coach Max Good. "We started the second half with two perfectly executed plays, but got them blocked and we let our guard down for just a second. You can't do that against Gonzaga."

After an up-and-down first half, Gonzaga turned to its defense. LMU had just five turnovers in the first half, but Gonzaga forced the Lions into eight turnovers while allowing no field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half to take an 11-point lead.

"We just couldn't score early in the half and that bled into our defense," said Good. "If you don't score against Gonzaga, they will make you pay. We did a great job fighting back and we had a chance at the end."

Gonzaga opened the second half with a 9-0 run to turn a two-point deficit into a 41-34 lead. Armstead snapped the run with a pair of free throws with 13:55 to play.

Gonzaga would continue to roll, stretching the run to 17-2 in taking a 47-36 lead with 12:23 to play.

The Zags would need every inch of the run down the stretch as the Lions would outscore Gonzaga 18-6 the next seven minutes to cut the lead to just one.

Armstead would score the Lions' first field goal of the second stanza with 12:00 to play, making it 47-38. The senior added three more on a long ball with 9:48 to play to cut the lead six, 49-43. He would have seven of the Lions' first nine points of the half.

The Lions shot just 28.6 percent in the second half and finished shooting 38 percent. Gonzaga, who shot 52 percent in the first half, finished hitting 46.2 percent. The Lions finished with 16 turnovers, 11 in the second half. Gonzaga had 13.

LMU continued to crawl back as another three-pointer, this one by Ireland with 8:27 to play, made it 50-46. Alex Osborne's drive to the hoop, lay-in cut the lead to a pair, 52-50, with 6:25 on the clock. Hamilton's free throw with 5:21 to play made it a one-point game, 54-53.

Pangos, then hit just his third and fourth point on free throws to make it 56-53. Pangos then hit another pair, to stretch the lead back to five, 58-53 with just over three minutes to play.

LMU wasn't done.

Viney answered with two free throws of his own on the next possession to make it 58-55. Hamilton's drive and one-handed dunk with 1:51 cut the lead back to one, 58-57, with 1:51 to play.

The Lions would then have a shot at the lead as Alex Osborne, who finished with four points and six rebounds, grabbed the defensive rebound. However, Viney's shot was short of the front of the rim with 44 seconds left.

With the shot clock near zero, Harris would then deliver the biggest of his points with a reverse lay-in with seven seconds on the clock that gave the Zags a 60-57 lead.

Gonzaga would foul Ireland, who made the first and missed the second on purpose. Pargos would get the rebound and would go to the line with 1.5 seconds left. He would hit both to secure the win.

GAME NOTES: The first half was tight throughout. Gonzaga took a five-point lead, 17-12, on Robert Sacre's lay-up with 10:29 to play. The Lions then took their first lead of the game, the half's only lead change, on Ashley Hamilton's jumper with 7:17 to play, making it 21-19. The Lions would take their five-point lead, 26-21, on LaRon Armstead's three-pointer with 4:29 to play. The Lions would lead 34-32 at the break.




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