After a steal, Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard scores over Loyola Marymount guard Joe Quintana, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Gonzaga had one of its most efficient offensive nights Thursday, nobody more than Chet Holmgren.
The freshman center scored a team-high 21 points with nine rebounds and three blocks, shooting 7 of 8 from the field and making all three 3-point attempts.
Behind his performance, the No. 2 Bulldogs (16-2, 5-0 WCC) rolled to a 89-55 home win over the Lions (9-8, 2-3), shooting an impressive 61.8% from the field and 52.2% on 3-pointers.
Rasir Bolton (11 points) and Julian Strawther (10) were the only other Bulldogs in double figures, as 10 players made the scoresheet.
GU started slow, but ended the final eight minutes of the first half on a 16-2 run and LMU had no chance to keep pace with the Bulldogs in the second half. The Lions shot just 32.8% in the game.
GU will look to continue its dominance in the WCC on Saturday, hosting Portland at 6 p.m.
13:47 - GU 7, LMU 7: Slow scoring start for both teams at the first media timeout, aside from a highlight ally-oop from Nembhard to Holmgren.
The Lions are 3 of 11 from the field, while the Zags are 3 of 7. LMU already with seven rebounds – three on the offensive end.
11:45 - GU 10, LMU 9: Bolton makes a 3-pointer and Leaupepe scores a layup with his mullet flowing at the U12 media timeout.
Zags shooting 4 of 10 from the field, while the Lions are 4 of 14 and outrebounding GU 11-5.
7:15 - GU 22, LMU 17: The Zags find their scoring touch, making 5 of the last 6 field goals, as Timme and Nembhard lead with six apiece at the U8 media timeout.
Leaupepe is controlling the glass with six rebounds and a team-high seven points. He has as many rebounds as the Bulldogs combined, with the Lions holding a 16-6 advantage on rebounds.
4:00 - GU 31, LMU 17: Strawther makes a 3-pointer after a steal by Bolton and the Zags take an 11-0 run into the U4 media timeout.
The Bulldogs have been efficient since a sluggish start and are shooting 61.9% from the field and gone 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.
Timme leads GU with eight points, as Hickman adds seven. LMU is on a 4:15 minutes scoring drought and are shooting 28% from the field.
Gonzaga finally pulled away from Loyola Marymount late in the first half, closing the period on a 16-2 run over the final eight minutes.
The Lions shot a woeful 8 of 33 from the field, while the Zags were 14 of 25. LMU’s 23-14 rebounding advantage was its only bright spot.
The Zags are led by Drew Timme’s eight points, while Chet Holmgren and Nolan Hickman have seven apiece.
14:51 - GU 46, LMU 31: The Lions hold a 12-10 advantage in the second half at the U16 media timeout. Leaupepe and Anderson both have five points apiece in the period, as LMU has made 5 of 9 attempts.
GU keeping pace, shooting 4 of 5 in the half, as Holmgren and Bolton add five points apiece.
Holmgren leads the Zags with 12 points.
12:00 - GU 58, LMU 31: Zags have made seven of their last nine attempts and shooting 61.1% at the U12 media timeout.
Holmgren having an excellent game with a team-high 18 points and five rebounds to go with three blocks and 6 of 7 shooting. He’s also made all three of his 3-point attempts.
7:45 - GU 71, LMU 37: The Zags take an 18-3 run over the last 4:41 minutes into the U8 media timeout.
Holmgren up to 21 points with eight rebounds, while Bolton adds 10 points and is the only other Zag in double figures.
GU is shooting 76.5% in the second half.
3:02 - GU 81, LMU 44: Strawther throws down a highlight put-back dunk as its all Zags at the U4 media timeout.
Gonzaga enters tonight’s game against Loyola Marymount as 27.5 point favorites – recent trends might suggest even that is too low.
The No. 2 Bulldogs (15-2, 4-0 WCC) are on a roll to start conference play, and host the Lions (9-8, 2-3) at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports. The Zags last beat San Francisco 78-62 on Thursday and have won its four WCC games by an average margin of victory of 27 points, scoring over 110 points in the first three.
Meanwhile, LMU is coming off an 83-51 loss to Saint Mary’s on Saturday. The Lions beat Pepperdine 85-80 (OT) and Portland 70-58 this year, while losing to San Francisco 97-73 and San Diego 70-65.
The two teams were initially scheduled to play on Jan. 1, but it was postponed due to COVID-19 issues and has not been rescheduled.
Gonzaga has won the last 24 meetings over Loyola Marymount dating back to Feb. 2, 2010, where the Lions won 74-66.
The Zags haven’t lost to LMU at home since Feb. 7, 1991.
GU won its lone meeting with the Lions last year 86-69.
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) strips the ball away from Loyola Marymount Lions forward Keli Leaupepe (34) during the first half of a college basketball game, Thurs., Feb. 6, 2020, at the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
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