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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga trying to keep LMU duo in check

Saint Mary’s guard Cullen Neal grabs a loose ball in front of Loyola Marymount’s James Batemon in a December game. Batemon leads the Lions in scoring and assists. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Gonzaga’s main concerns are Loyola Marymount junior James Batemon and freshman forward Eli Scott, who played at Chino Hills High with LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball and was trained by LaVar Ball.

Batemon has seven 20-point games. The 6-foot-1 point guard has had some unique stat lines. He had 26 points, four assists and nine turnovers in a win over Incarnate Word. He had seven points and 12 asssists versus Cal State Los Angeles. He’s coming off a subpar showing against Santa Clara (six points, six turnovers, six assists, fouled out).

Josh Perkins and Silas Melson could tag-team defensively on Batemon, who does his best work inside the 3-point arc and at the free-throw line.

The 6-5, 224-pound Scott has three double-doubles. The Zags could put Zach Norvell Jr. or Corey Kispert on Scott, who has started four games. GU could utilize a bigger defender with 6-8 Rui Hachimura or possibly 6-10 Killian Tillie.