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#17 Gonzaga WBB Face Off Against LMU Tonight

While the team is on the road, I’m sure they’re happier with the weather

Interesting. The team dominates Santa Clara and USD, but are rewarded in the most recent AP Poll with a lower ranking. The voters knew this was based on Women’s basketball, right?

Oh well, it’s January and the only that matters is the next game up because that’s the only way to make the voters understand their mistake. That matchup comes tonight as the Bulldogs head to Los Angeles to face off against the Loyola Marymount Lions. The game starts at 10pm EST and will be streamed on ESPN+.

Entering conference play at 5-7, the Lions currently sit at 7-9 with wins against Pepperdine (H; 64-50) and St. Mary’s (R; 66-48) to go alongside loses against USF (R; 38-63) and Pacific (R; 54-75). I covered the non-conference performance of LMU briefly here (scroll to the bottom), but want to dive a little deeper into the team’s performance early into conference play and in particular, two notable statistics among those games.

In their victories, LMU shot 40% and 43% from deep, while in their defeats, the Lions shot 17% and 27%. For a team that has averaging more than 20 attempts from three point range in each of those matchups, limiting their success on those attempts looks to be key for the Zags.

With regards to rebounds, the Lions out-rebounded their opponents in both of their wins (34-19 and 33-23) while losing that margin in their defeats (23-43 and 31-33). LMU was tied for first in offensive rebounds among WCC teams during the non-conference schedule so restricting those offensive boards and subsequent second chance points could be another sticking point for the Bulldogs tonight.

While Gonzaga has a notably veteran roster, LMU bests them as every single player averaging more than 12 minutes per game is a senior. The group is led by Alexis Mark, the 6’0” forward, who is averaging nearly 13 points and 8 rebounds per game while shooting 50% from two and 39% from three. In conference play, she has been balling out with 18 points against USF, 12 points against Pepperdine, 19 against Pacific, and another 18 points against St. Mary’s while shooting 56% from two (8 attempts/game) and 33% from three (3 attempts/game) on top of 9 rebounds per game.

Other important members will be the 6’2” Amaya Oliver, who is right behind Mark in rebounds with 7.4 per game while also leading her team in blocks with 1.3 per game, guard Nicole Rodrigues, who is second in scoring with nearly 10 per game fueled by her 34% shooting on 6 three pointers per game, and guard Sydney Gandy, who leads the team in assists with just under 4 while also leading her team in minutes.

Another interesting point not really related to this game focuses on the team getting some new kicks that will likely be featured tonight:

Pretty cool if you ask me.

Be sure to check out the game tonight and hit the comments below with your thoughts as the game progresses or before I get the game review out!