Sun., Jan. 18, 2015
Day after Loyola Marymount
Morning. Football coming up, but some basketball business to attend to first.
Here's my game story from GU's 72-55 win over Loyola Marymount, and another from AP. Should be a good one Thursday with first place on the line against visiting Saint Mary's.
Read on for my day-after LMU post.
--As mentioned in my game story, Gary Bell Jr. had scored in double figures just once in the previous 10 games. When he got off to another slow start vs. LMU he had to be feeling a sense of 'here we go again.' But this time he broke out of it – in a big way. He missed his first three 3-pointers, but he nailed a trey with 6:53 left in the first half that triggered a strong second half.
Bell was 3 of 3 from the field, 2 of 2 on 3s, and 2 of 2 at the FT line in the second half.
“Guys were telling me to stay aggressive and in the second half I got going,” Bell said. “Basketball is like that, it's a game of runs.”
--The Lions’ zone defense invited outside shots, primarily 3s, and they did a nice job of keeping the ball out of the hands of Gonzaga bigs.
Przemek Karnowski only attempted one shot, Kyle Wiltjer seven and Domantas Sabonis six. The trio remained patient, made 10 of 14 attempts and added seven assists.
The Zags hoisted 22 3s (making 10), including 16 in the first half.
“They really collapse and try to keep you on one side so if you swing it there’s shots to be had on the other side,” Few said. “They were even more in tune with not (allowing GU) to try it into the bigs.”
Gonzaga, at times, settled for 3s, but hit its stride in the second half: 12 of 18 FG (66.7%), 5 of 6 3s (83.3%) and 5 of 7 FTs (71.4%).
“That’s a different kind of zone, not one you see night in and night out,” Few said. “On short prep, our guys did a nice job, found the shooters and it was great for us and great for him to see Gary get going. It’s been a couple of games and he was putting a little pressure on himself.”
--Gonzaga was outrebounded for the first time this season. LMU won the glass 38-33. The Lions had 19 offensive boards.
--Kevin Pangos now ranks in the top 10 at GU in points (1,621, tied 10th with Richie Frahm), 3-pointers made (283, second), 3-point attempts (677, second), FT percentage (84.6%), assists (450, 5th) and steals (155, tied seventh with Steven Gray).
“It’s a good feeling I’ll be recognized for something like that for my career,” Pangos said.
He should also crack the top 10 soon in field goals made and free throws made.
STATS OF NOTE
--Sabonis' last three games: 12.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 18 of 22 shooting (82 percent).
--Sabonis edged past Karnowski as the team’s leading rebounder. Sabonis has 119, Karnowski 117.
--GU has 73 assists and only 35 turnovers in its last four games.
--Bell and Pangos combined to go 5 of 5 on 3s in the second half.
--The Zags made 52.1 percent from the field, believe it or not its worst percentage in five games.
Bell on the defense: “We’re fine, we just have to finish it off with a rebound. I know this week we’ll be hitting a lot in practice because we have (Saint Mary’s center Brad) Waldow up next and he’s a rebounding machine.”
Few on the defense: “We had a long film session and we didn’t want to go very hard in practice but that (improving defensively) was the main emphasis after that second half in Malibu. We didn’t play the way we’ve played this year and the way we wanted to play. Through the course of the game we ended up defending pretty well.”
Pangos on the defense: “We had to focus on guarding people as a team instead of 1-on-1. We did better with that.”