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LMU lives by 3, dies by 3 in failed upset attempt at Gonzaga

By Michael Gulledge michaelg@spokesman.com,

Loyola Marymount lived by the 3-pointer on Thursday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center – at least to start the game.

The Lions ended up losing by 38 points to the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who remained the nation’s last undefeated team. Loyola Marymount was able to hang with GU for a majority of the first half because of its early success from long range.

At the 5-minute, 46-second mark in the first half, Eric Johansson drained a 3-pointer to narrow a seven-point Gonzaga lead to four. The shot continued a trend of clutch Loyola 3s in the first half.

The Bulldogs managed to piece together two six-point leads, two seven-point leads and a 10-point lead before an LMU shot from behind the arc would narrow the margin.

“We didn’t do a great job of getting out on some of their shooters, and they did a nice job of knocking down some shots,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.

Following Johansson’s 3-pointer, Loyola was 6 for 9 on 3-point attempts.

The success didn’t last much longer, as the Lions misfired on many attempts during the rest of the game.

LMU missed three 3-pointers in the last 2 minutes of the first half and trailed by 11 at halftime. Nothing improved in the second half for the Lions as they went 1 for 7 on 3s and watched the Zags’ lead continue to grow.

Entering the game, Gonzaga had limited opponents to 28 percent 3-point shooting. Arizona was 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts against the Zags and Florida shot 2 for 19 from deep.

On Saturday, Gonzaga will host Saint Mary’s, which is ranked 21st in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Saint Mary’s has shot 40 percent on 3-pointers in its first 15 games this season.

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