Loyola Marymount 74, No. 13 Gonzaga 66
Ashley Hamilton beckoned his fellow students to celebrate with him on the court after leading Loyola Marymount to its biggest victory in 20 years.
Hamilton scored 17 points and Drew Viney had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead the Lions to a 74-66 upset of No. 13 Gonzaga on Thursday night.
After the final horn sounded, Hamilton and teammate Vernon Teel stood on the press tables and waved students onto the court. About 150 spectators overwhelmed campus security to mob the players.
``We just wanted to share that experience with them,'' said Hamilton, who tied a career high with three blocks. ``Everybody talks about beating Gonzaga. To finally do it as a team, as a campus, as a community is a special feeling.''
Loyola Marymount beat Gonzaga for just the third time in 31 meetings since 1996.
The victory was the Lions' first over a ranked team since the 1990 NCAA tournament, when they defeated Alabama in the West Regional semifinals. That was the team that featured Bo Kimble and the late Hank Gathers.
Reserve Larry Davis, a transfer from Seton Hall, added 12 points for the Lions (14-13, 5-6 West Coast Conference), who have won four of six. Kevin Young added 11 points and Jarred DuBois had 10 points.
``I always thought they had a very, very talented crew,'' Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of the Lions. ``I mean, they've got a lot of pieces. For the most part, they consistently beat us to the basketball time and time again.''
Not since December could Loyola Marymount coach Max Good use his full complement of players.
``We had our full team probably for the first time since Long Beach State and Notre Dame,'' Good said of early season games. ``Tonight, we had four guards and they were huge.''
Elias Harris had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-5, 9-2), who had won 13 of their last 14, while Demetri Goodson and Steven Gray added 11 points apiece.
But Gonzaga shot just 34.4 percent from the field and Harris missed seven of 11 shots.
``He didn't shoot well but that was because of our defense,'' Viney said. ``We really made sure we knew where he was every moment of every play. He's a special player and we had to put all of our attention on him to stop him.''
Gonzaga, which led by as many as 10 points in the first half, was up 41-36 28 seconds into the second half when Loyola Marymount started its rally.
Young scored six points during a 14-4 run that put the Lions ahead 50-45 with 13:22 to play. The Bulldogs missed seven of their first eight shots from the field in the half.
``We had some really good looks,'' Few said. ``We got some point-blankers. But we pretty much got throttled on our inside play and we thought we had a decided advantage in there.''
Harris' 3-pointer narrowed Gonzaga's deficit to 52-50 but Loyola Marymount used a 14-6 run to go ahead 66-56 with 4:21 remaining.
The Bulldogs drew within 68-64 with 1:20 left, but Davis's layup on an inbounds pass from Vernon Teel as the shot clock expired extended the Lions' lead to six points with 43 seconds to play.
``That was a huge play,'' Good said of Davis' layup. ``If we miss that and they get running, they could cut (the lead) to two. That's almost a four-point switch. But you could see the air kind of went out of them.''
Loyola Marymount scored 18 points in the paint and forced Gonzaga to miss 20 of 27 shots in the second half. The Bulldogs scored just 10 points, all on free throws, in a span of 7:15 during that half.