Men’s basketball: Gonzaga will try to bounce back at a place that’s been good to the Bulldogs through the years.
The Bulldogs (17-4, 7-2 WCC), who suffered a disappointing 83-73 loss at BYU on Thursday, face Pepperdine (8-14, 2-9) tonight at 7 in Malibu. The Bulldogs have won 21 in a row in the series, including the last nine by an average of 17.8 points at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Nothing has come easy for the Zags on the road this season. They’re 3-3, including double-digit WCC losses at Saint Mary’s and BYU. GU’s two conference road wins were a struggle as it outlasted Loyola Marymount 62-58 and Portland 74-62 after trailing by four at halftime.
“We still have games to win. We’re not going to dwell on this loss,” sophomore forward Sam Dower (pictured) said Thursday night. “We can’t let this affect how we play in the future.”
Saint Mary’s (22-2, 11-0) has opened a sizable lead over second-place Gonzaga. BYU (7-3) and LMU (7-3) trail the Zags by one game in the loss column.
Cougars face much taller task
Men’s basketball: Coach Ken Bone warns that the Washington State Cougars will have to play a much different style of basketball against UCLA today than they did on Thursday night against USC.
In a 60-53 win over the Trojans, Bone was able to play a smaller lineup against a USC team that featured just one player taller than 6-foot-7.
But as junior forward Brock Motum said Thursday, it seems as if every player on UCLA’s roster has that kind of height. Well, maybe not every player. But twins David and Travis Wear, plus big man Josh Smith (all 6-10), present a formidable challenge to WSU’s undersized front line.
Smith scored a career-high 24 points in UCLA’s loss to Washington on Thursday night. Bone said 6-10 reserve forward D.J. Shelton, who did not play against USC, will likely factor more prominently into the Cougars’ game plan today.
The Cougars (12-10, 4-6 Pac-12) haven’t lost in Beasley Coliseum this year. They haven’t beaten the Bruins (12-10, 5-5 Pac-12) there since 1993.