Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Elias Harris scored a game-high 21 points and
grabbed eight rebounds, as Gonzaga earned its first-ever victory as a No. 1
team with a 66-48 triumph over Loyola Marymount in a semifinal matchup in the
West Coast Conference Tournament on Saturday at Orleans Arena.
Kevin Pangos followed with 14 points, while Gary Bell, Jr. and WCC Player of
the Year Kelly Olynyk added eight points apiece for the Bulldogs (30-2), who
have won 13 straight games and are headed to the WCC title game for the 16th
Gonzaga will be vying for its 12th tourney crown since 1995 when they take on
either defending champion St. Mary's or San Diego in Monday's title game.
Anthony Ireland led the Lions (11-23) with 19 points and six boards.
"Our lack of size hurt us against a team with the big men of Gonzaga," Loyola
Marymount coach Max Good admitted. "We had to hustle and scrap which we did,
but in the end it just wasn't enough."
LMU held the Bulldogs to 9-of-24 shooting from the field, including 1-of-7
from 3-point range, in the first half to stay within one, 27-26, at the break.
The margin was one, 32-31, just under two minutes into the second half before
Gonzaga came to life, as a Pangos jumper sparked a 18-2 surge that Harris
capped with back-to-back buckets to make it 50-33 at the midpoint of the
The Lions answered with five straight points to pull within 12, but Harris
countered with a personal 6-0 sprint to push the margin to 18 with 4:18
"We played with more emotion in the second half," Harris said. "We came out
flat in the beginning and we knew that we had to change that."
LMU never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.
Gonzaga won all three meetings with LMU this season by double-digits and has
taken eight straight in the series overall ... Gonzaga shot 43.5 percent from
the field, while LMU shot 30.6 percent from the floor ... Olynyk also
added eight rebounds and four assists.
The Sports Network