Loyola Marymount vs #1 Gonzaga

Loyola Marymount vs #1 Gonzaga | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 3, 2021

Top-ranked Gonzaga has not shown any hints that it might lose in the regular season this season, and it surely won’t happen on Thursday as the Zags will be massive favorites on the NCAAB odds in West Coast Conference action vs. Loyola Marymount.

How to Bet Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

The schools met twice last year and Gonzaga easily won both. The one in Spokane was 85-67 with the Zags were ranked second in the country. Gonzaga led only 38-30 at halftime, despite shooting 61% and holding the Lions to 43%. Corey Kispert hit a pair of 3-pointers to put Gonzaga up 55-38 early in the second half.  It was the Lions’ 23rd loss straight to Gonzaga and they committed 17 turnovers. The Lions did not shoot a free throw in the first half and made 7 of 12 from the line in the second half. Gonzaga sank 18 of its 25 free throws. Loyola hasn’t beaten Gonzaga since 2010

Why Bet on Loyola Marymount? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Lions (8-6) haven’t played since a 75-50 win at Portland on Jan. 25 as they have had two games postponed since for COVID reasons. LMU benefited from a 17-0 run in the first half and played a complete game to get to 3-3 in the WCC and earn their first road win of the year.

Mattias Markusson finished the game with career-highs in scoring and field goals with 25 points on 10-for-12 shooting. The big man also grabbed 13 rebounds to complete the double-double. The early 17-0 run, which included a pair of three-pointers from both Jalin Anderson and Ivan Alipiev, gave LMU the lead and the team never surrendered.

LMU held the Pilots to just 22 points in the second half, and increased the lead to as many as 26 points. Eli Scott dished out seven assists and scored five of his seven points after the break. Joe Quintana went 4-for-6 from long range in his return to the court from COVID protocols. The Lions shot a season-best 52.0 percent (13-for-25) from three. The 25-point win was LMU’s largest in conference play since the Lions won at Portland, 72-55, in 2019.

Scott was named to the Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch List. That is presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major player in Division I College Basketball. Scott is leading the Lions in scoring, rebounds, and assists for the second-straight season and ranks in the West Coast Conference’s top-8 in all three categories as well. He leads the WCC in rebounding at 8.64 boards per game, ranks seventh in the league in points at just over 16 per game, and is eighth in assists at 3.71 per contest.

In school annals, Scott ranks 17th all-time with 1328 points, 11th all-time with 690 rebounds, and 10th all-time with 330 assists.

LMU was dealt some bad news since that win as Dameane Douglas was been ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season with an injury. He was averaging 13.5 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game. Douglas led the Lions in scoring in three games this season, and grabbed team-high rebounds five times.

Why Bet on Gonzaga? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Zags (17-0) had little trouble on Saturday with a 97-75 win at Pepperdine. The Bulldogs had six players score in double figures, the second time this season they had at least six do so. Pepperdine jumped out to a 15-7 lead before Gonzaga took control with a 21-2 run. The outburst included 16 straight points.

“Scoring might not be the primary role for some guys but with this team everyone is so good,” said Aaron Cook, who had a career-high 15 points off the bench. “You have to pick your poison and live with the results. It is hard to focus on two guys when the rest of the team can score.”

Drew Timme led the way with 19 points and Corey Kispert, the West Coast Conference’s leading scorer, added 16 for Gonzaga, which has won 21 straight games dating to last season. Andrew Nembhard came off the bench and finished with 17 points and eight assists. The Bulldogs, who lead the nation in scoring offense, were 28 of 34 on 2-point field goals with all but eight of those baskets being layups. Gonzaga has trailed for only 21 minutes, 42 seconds in its eight conference games.

Timme is second in the conference averaging 18.7 points per game and fifth grabbing 6.88 rebounds per outing. He leads the league shooting 62 percent from the field, and is fourth inside-the-arc at 62.8 percent. Kispert leads the West Coast Conference in scoring at 20.2 points per game. He is shooting a phenomenal 57.7 percent from the field, which is second in the conference. The senior tops the league making 3.1 three-pointers per game at a WCC-best 48.6 percentage (sixth in the nation).

Timme, Kispert and freshman Jalen Suggs were named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list. The award is presented to the nation’s most outstanding basketball player. Suggs leads the West Coast Conference in steals per game at 2.27 and is fifth at 4.53 assists per outing. He sixth in the league shooting 51.4 percent from the field, averaging 13.47 points per game.

Expert Prediction                          

  • Gonzaga 86, Loyola Marymount 65

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