Feb. 11, 2012
SPOKANE, Wash. - For the first time in West Coast Conference play on the road, LMU men's basketball was out of sync from the beginning and never quite recovered as they drop their first conference road game of the season, 78-59, at Gonzaga on Saturday night.
Sophomore Anthony Ireland was the Lions' only option early, as he had seven of the Lions' 10 first-half field goals and 19 of his 23 points. Senior Drew Viney then had the hot hand in the second half, going for 16 of his game-high 24 in the second half.
Ireland (9-for-15) and Viney (8-for-14) combined to shoot 17-for-29 from the field, 58.6 percent. However, Gonzaga shut down the rest of the Lions. No other Lion had more than three points, and finished just 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) from the field.
"It just wasn't our night," said Head Coach Max Good. "You aren't going to beat Gonzaga with just two guys scoring. We couldn't hit our shots early and we didn't respond from there. It wasn't that they played terrible, we just had players have shots they have made most of the season rim out. It just was one of those nights."
Meanwhile, the Zags did most of everything right with four players in double figures. Kevin Pangos had 21 points, while Elias Harris had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Guy Landry Edi and Robert Sacre added 13 each.
Gonzaga finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from the three-point line and 89.5 percent from the free throw line (17-for-19). LMU finished hitting just 39 percent from the floor, 26.1 percent from three, its lowest shooting effort on the road in conference play this season.
"We got down by 10 early, and against a team as good as Gonzaga on their home floor, you put yourself in pretty much a no-win situation. We kept fighting to the end, but we just struggled," said Good. "While our offense was one-sided, it was our defense that really struggled. During this stretch of success on the road, we have been much better defensively than we were tonight."
Ireland hit 7-for-9 from the field in the first half but it wasn't enough as the rest of the team went 3-for- to fall down as many a 16 early. Viney managed to get the Lions to within 10, 40-30, on a bucket with just two seconds left in halftime.
Gonzaga would shoot 54.5 percent in the second half to stretch the lead to over 20 points as the Lions could never get anything going throughout the night.
The Lions fall to 16-10 on the season and 9-4 in the WCC, while Gonzaga improves to 20-4 overall and 10-2 in the WCC.
LMU won't get much rest as they continue a stretch of four games in nine days when they head to No. 13 Saint Mary's on Wednesday, Feb. 15 for a 7:30 p.m., start.
- GO LIONS -