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GU easily handles LMU 93-55

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Zags win despite a lifeless MAC.

NCAA Basketball: Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long week without a GU game with tonight’s game serving as an appetizer before Saturday’s main course. In a tomb quiet Kennel, the Zags easily handled the Loyola Marymount Lions 93-55. Zag home games against second tier WCC competition are starting to have a familiar pattern. GU underperforms in the first half as the opponent stays close, usually by shooting the lights out from 3. GU goes into halftime up by about 10 (tonight 11), then the opponent cools down in the 2nd half, run out of steam, then GU cruises to an easy win.

Maybe it was the week off, maybe it’s the weather in Spokane, maybe the Zags and their fans are looking ahead to Saturday, but tonight seemed like a quiet, low energy affair on the court and in the stands. For the first 25 minutes or so, all the Zags were playing solid except for Przemek Karnowski who as spectacular. LMU tried to use a Euro threesome ( 6’10” Czech, 6’11” Serb and a 7’1”Swede) to slow him down, but big Shem dropped a team high 17 points on 7-10 shooting. The reason he had only 4 assists was teammates missing open 3’s because Shem put on a clinic passing the ball out of the post. Shem put up the big numbers despite sitting for the last 11 minutes of the game.

Silas Melson had one of his better all-around games of the season scoring 13 points on 5-9 shooting (3-5 from deep) to go along with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals. Zach Collins scored 15, most of those point coming at the end of the game while Karnowski was sitting. Josh Perkins returned to form scoring 11 on 4-5 shooting (3-4 from 3) to go along with 5 assists. The 38-point Gonzaga victory would have been even more if it wasn’t for the Lions Buay Tuach. Tuach scored 19 points and at one point in the 2nd half scored 13 of the Lion’s last 16 points. The only bright spot for LMU was their 13 offensive rebounds but that was tempered by their season high 22 turnovers.

Garbage time for Zag fans this year has turned into Rui time. Rui played with the starters for 8+ minutes and was responsible for the loudest moment of the night going coast-to-coast for a dunk in traffic. Those watching the game until the end were also treated by a dunk from Jeremy Jones along with two steals and two assists from Bryan Alberts. Sadly, no RemVP tonight and once again Ryan Edwards wasn’t given any minutes.

The 16-0 Bulldogs continue to easily win these games they are supposed to win, but they haven’t really been tested since Tennessee. That should change Saturday night. As I’m writing this, the team that shall not be named is beating Portland 37 – 9 at the half. Fasten your seatbelts GU fans, it’s going to be a wild game this Saturday.