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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Loyola Marymount key matchup: Lions looking to establish fifth-year senior Eli Scott early and often

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 27, 2022

The list of career 2,000-point scorers at Loyola Marymount is relatively short, but Eli Scott, with his longevity as a college player and natural scoring ability, could become the sixth player in program history to reach the milestone by the end of his final season with the Lions.

It’s partially why LMU coach Stan Johnson was frustrated with the Lions’ offensive approach in an 81-53 loss to Saint Mary’s last Saturday.

“If Eli’s going to shoot three shots, we’re probably not going to win,” Johnson said.

That could be a tell for how often Scott will touch the ball on Thursday when LMU visits the nation’s second-ranked team for an 8 p.m. tipoff at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Saint Mary’s game was certainly an outlier for Scott, who’s scored 1,782 career points in his career and is averaging 11.9 shot attempts per game for LMU while boasting a scoring average of 16.7 points per game.

In the past three seasons, Scott hasn’t attempted fewer than three field goals in a single game and he’s attempted as many as 21 for the Lions this season. Before his uncharacteristic five-point outing against Saint Mary’s, Scott scored 31 points against Pepperdine – one of four times this season he’s scored 25 or more.

Scott’s shown a penchant for getting to the free-throw line and he’s attempted 87 free throws this season. Gonzaga’s Drew Timme is the only player in the West Coast Conference who’s been to the free-throw line more than Scott, who attempts 5.1 free throws per game.

It could be Timme who picks up the main defensive assignment on Scott, a guard/forward who’s built more like an outside linebacker/defensive end at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds. The Zags, presumably, will also call on Anton Watson’s physical play and toughness to corral Scott in the non-Timme minutes.

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