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GU wants to stay hot

Gonzaga wouldn’t mind picking up where it left off against Loyola Marymount. Or Pepperdine, for that matter.

The Bulldogs pulled away in the final five minutes with an 18-4 run en route to a 91-68 victory over LMU to open West Coast Conference play Jan. 12 in Los Angeles. Gonzaga shot a season-high 65.4 percent and had 25 assists against the Lions, who visit the McCarthey Athletic Center tonight at 5.

Gonzaga (18-6, 7-1) equaled its season high with 25 assists in a 101-59 rout of Pepperdine on Saturday while LMU (5-19, 2-6) was losing to Portland 74-63.

“We had a tough game down there,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We broke away at the end. (Lions coach) Rodney Tention’s teams always do a great job of playing hard and physical. They made a lot of 3s on us and they’ve got some guys that can really shoot it.”

Loyola Marymount drained eight 3-pointers against GU, led by guard Corey Counts’ 5-of-6 shooting from long distance. Counts, who made the team as a walk-on at a tryout prior to the 2005-06 season, scored a season-high 21 points, one of just four games he’s reached double figures. Sophomore Shawn Deadwiler added two 3s against the Bulldogs.

He led the Lions with 15 points versus Portland and has raised his scoring average to 10.3 per game.

Three freshmen join Counts and Deadwiler in the starting lineup. Guard Orlando Johnson tops LMU at 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

WCC opponents are shooting 50.7 percent against LMU. The Lions average 18.8 turnovers per game.

“Those guys had some runs down there when we played them earlier,” Gonzaga point guard Jeremy Pargo said. “They run a lot of sets, gets guys open and we have to get some turnovers and get those guys playing our speed.”

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