Nigel Williams-Goss notched a double-double and led the Gonzaga Bulldogs to a somewhat listless 90-60 win over the Loyola Marymount Lions on Thursday night.
We can talk a lot about this game, starting with the student section that showed up with flags and inflatable palm trees as if they were the supporters section of a soccer squad. We can talk a lot about how the five different Gonzaga players scored in double figures, and how the game was never really in question.
But instead, what we will talk about are the negatives, because this game was boring as boring can be. Gonzaga jumped out to an easy lead that pretty much hovered around the 20 point mark for a majority of the game. The officiating was one of the big reasons for that as well. Gonzaga led Loyola Marymount at the charity stripe with 21 attempts versus just four (!!!) in the first half.
Don’t think this was lopsided officiating either. Loyola Marymount was going by the tried and true saying, if you can’t beat them, just beat them. That really started to rear its ugly head towards the end of the first half where Williams-Goss took two brutal hits in as many minutes, neither being decent plays on the ball, and both just being lazy ass hits by LMU—not dirty basketball mind you, just bad basketball.
But Goss don’t care, cause he is a fighter. The Gonzaga junior almost had his double-double at halftime, and in the second half, he deferred to the rest of the squad for the offense. Zach Collins, despite being hampered with a quick two fouls, finished with a nice and tidy 11 points (although his ego probably needs a bit of a rest after getting posterized by Buay Tuach). Killian Tillie also looked like his old self, providing a nice spark off the bench for 11 points.
It wasn’t all sunshines and unicorns and rainbows and snow days for the Zags, however. Gonzaga finished with 16 turnovers, some credited to the LMU defense and just as many credited to a sleepy offense. The Zags never really looked like they were in this game to win it, just sort of showed up because their plane accidentally landed in Los Angeles instead of San Francisco. They will need a much harder effort on Saturday, because Moraga will be ready to feast on the flesh of these zombified Zags.
On LMU’s side, they got some points, and turned the ball over as well. It looked like their game plan was to be as physical as possible and use all of their rotation to give 100% in both heart and allotment of fouls. The latter was most definitely true, and it slowed the game down to a borderline unwatchable pace at points. If you didn’t tune into the Oregon and UCLA game at some point, you were missing out.
But enough of all of this drudgery. The Zags are still undefeated, and they are heading into the biggest game of the conference slate. Hopefully, Williams-Goss is able to shake off the bruises he accumulated in this contest, because the Zags will need to be quite a bit more alert on Saturday than they were today.