No. 21 Gonzaga 62, Loyola Marymount 58

Mark Few was eager to find out how his team would respond just

two days removed from a rare lopsided conference loss.

Thrown into another tough road environment, the Gonzaga coach

was pleased with the resolve his players showed.

Elias Harris scored 19 points and Gary Bell added 16 to help No.

21 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 62-58 on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs were coming off an 83-62 defeat to Saint Mary’s on

Thursday in what was the most one-sided West Coast Conference

setback in Few’s 13 years at the helm.

”In bounce-back games you find out a lot about your character,

your heart, your toughness, your confidence,” Few said. ”Your

confidence can get a little sapped and our guys didn’t do

that.”

Kevin Pangos overcame a rough shooting night to score nine

points and Robert Sacre had eight for the Bulldogs (14-3, 4-1 WCC),

who pulled away early in the second half to avoid a second straight

upset.

”It feels good to finish the road trip with a W and get our

confidence back, especially after that weak performance on

Thursday,” Harris said.

Ashley Hamilton had 16 points and LaRon Armstead added 14 for

Loyola Marymount (10-8, 3-2), which made just six shots after

halftime.

The Lions were gunning for a third win over a ranked opponent

this season but were done in by making just 6 of 21 shots following

the intermission.

”We were ineffective offensively and we were letting it bleed

into our defense,” LMU coach Max Good said. ”You can’t drop your

head for a split second against them. Their just too good, they

take advantage of you.”

The Bulldogs outscored LMU 38-20 in the paint to overcome some

cold shooting from distance. They made just 2 of 13 3-point

attempts.

Gonzaga went ahead by as many as 11 in the second half but saw

that lead cut to 58-57 on a dunk by Hamilton with less than 2

minutes to play. After Drew Viney missed a leaner that would have

given the Lions the lead, the long rebound was tracked down by

Gonzaga.

Pangos worked the clock down and found Harris cutting along the

baseline for an up-and-under layup that made it 60-57 with 8

seconds to go.

Gonzaga elected to prevent a game-tying 3-point attempt and sent

Anthony Ireland to the line. He made the first and missed the

second. Pangos came up with the ball following a scrum under the

basket and was fouled.

With 1.5 seconds left, Pangos made a pair from the line for the

four-point lead.

”We’ve all been there before,” said Harris of the hectic

finish. ”The best thing to do is keep your poise.”

Pangos, who entered averaging a team-high 14.1 points, was held

scoreless on one shot attempt in the first half. He went 1 of 6 for

the game and hit all six of his free throws.

Gonzaga trailed by two at halftime but opened the second with a

9-0 run. Bell hit a jumper, Sacre and Mike Hart had layups and

Pangos hit a 3 for his first points of the game and a 41-34

lead.

The Lions went scoreless for over 6 minutes to open the half but

got on the board with Armstead’s free throws to cut it to 41-36.

Harris then had back-to-back dunks and the Bulldogs scored six

straight points to make it 47-36.

”You come up empty and you come up empty, and it takes its

toll,” Good said.

Ireland made a jumper and Hamilton split a pair of free throws

as LMU climbed back to 54-53. Pangos hit two from the stripe on the

other end to make it 56-53 in favor of Gonzaga.

The Lions had a chance to tie things on two occasions but turned

the ball over twice. Pangos then hit two more free throws to extend

the lead to 58-53 with 3:16 remaining.

LMU knocked off a pair of ranked foes earlier in the season by

beating then-No. 17 UCLA on Nov. 11 and then-No. 23 St. Louis a few

weeks later.

Gonzaga continued its dominance of the all-time series, having

now won five in a row and 33 of the past 36 meetings.