No. 3/3 Zags Wrap SoCal Road Trip at LMU Saturday
3/3 Gonzaga (17-1, 6-0) vs. LMU (5-13, 1-5)
Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 | 1:00 p.m. (PT) | Gersten Pavilion (4,156) | Los Angeles, Calif.
TV: KHQ/ROOT Sports (Steve Quis, Casey Jacobsen, Kelli Tennant)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)

Watch Live  |  Live Stats  |  Gonzaga Notes  |  LMU Notes

STORY LINES

  • Last time out: Gonzaga held off a second-half surge from Pepperdine to hang on to a 78-76 win on the road. Kyle Wiltjer had 19 of his 24 points in the second half, and Domantas Sabonis notched his second double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Gonzaga earned its 10th 6-0 start to West Coast Conference play in the Mark Few era.
  • The win was Gonzaga’s ninth straight overall, 11th straight over WCC opponents and sixth straight on the road in the WCC.
  • The win also marked Mark Few’s 200th-career WCC victory (200-24, .893). He’s the only coach in league history to reach that plateau.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 420-101, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .806.
  • Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by Kyle Wiltjer’s 16.8 points per game. After that, four more players average at least double-figures.
  • Gonzaga is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation, ranking No. 2 in field goal percentage (52.8), No. 3 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.62) and No. 9 in scoring offense (82.6).
  • The Zags are in the top two the West Coast Conference in 22 team statistical categories.

ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

  • Head coach Mike Dunlap is in his first season and comes with NBA coaching experience. He was the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2012-13 season.
  • Evan Payne is the leader for the Lions, ranking third in the WCC in scoring at 19.2 points per game. He’s hoisted up a team-high 222 shots this season, 66 more than any teammate.
  • Ayodeji Egbeyemi is just shy of double digits, averaging 9.7 points points per game.
  • LMU is outrebounding opponents by an average of 2.1 this season led by Godwin Okonji’s 5.8 rebounds per game.
  • The Lions also rank third in the league in blocked shots, averaging 3.8 per game. Marin Mornar leads the way with the WCC’s second best mark of 1.7 blocks per game.
  • LMU has taken a league-low 228 three-point attempts.

ABOUT THE SERIES

  • Gonzaga is 60-23 all-time against LMU and has won 10 games in a row and a 39 of the last 42.
  • The Zags swept the Lions last season with an 82-72 win in Los Angeles.


WOODEN WATCH LIST TOP 25

The John Wooden Award Watch List Midseason Top 25 was released Wednesday morning and including Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos and Kyle Wiltjer. Pangos was on the original Top 50, but Wiltjer was an addition in the unveiling of the Top 25. With those two, Gonzaga is one of three schools (Louisville, Duke) to have multiple players on the list. When you add in Tyler Haws from BYU, the WCC is alongside the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and ACC with at least three players in the top 25.

FIRST TO 200
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few became the only coach in West Coast Conference history to win 200 league games with the win over Pepperdine on Thursday night. Now in his 16th season at the helm of the Gonzaga basketball program, Few has compiled a WCC record of 200-24 for an astounding .893 winning percentage. In those 15 previous seasons, Gonzaga has run the table four times (2004, ‘06, ‘09, ‘13) and lost just one WCC game three more times (2001, ‘02, ‘08). Few has led GU to the regular season conference title 13 times, including a streak of 11 straight from 2001-2011. This year’s preseason favorite, Gonzaga is the two-time defending regular season champion.

SABONIS PERFECT FROM FIELD
On Thursday at Pepperdine, freshman Domantas Sabonis was a force in the paint going a perfect 9-for-9 from the field. Dating back to his last field goal in GU’s previous game, he’s got a current streak of 10 made field goals in a row.

And that’s not even his longest streak of the season. Earlier this year, he made 13 consecutive field goals over the course of nearly four games. He made his final FG attempt against UGA, then went 6-for-6 against St. John’s and 6-for-6 against Southeastern Louisiana before missing in the second half at Arizona.

FRESHMAN FORCE
Freshman Domantas Sabonis has turned up his game over the last three for Gonzaga. In that span, he’s averaging a double-double of 12.0 points and 10.0 rebounds and shooting .800 (16-for-20). He dropped in 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds at Pepperdine after posting 11 points and 9 rebounds against Santa Clara.

LOW BLOC
Special thanks to Grantland college basketball writer Mark Titus for the “Low Bloc” nickname suggestion for the combo of Domantas Sabonis (Lithuanian) and Przemek Karnowski (Polish). The Zag pair has been nearly unstoppable when catching the ball in the paint. In the last six games (all WCC contests), they are shooting a combined .724 from the field (55-for-76) and combining to grab 12.5 rebounds per game.

WILTJER SCORING AT WILL
Gonzaga started the year with five different leading scorers in its first six games, but over the last 12 Kyle Wiltjer has been the top scorer eight times, including four 20-point games with the most recent coming a 24-point effort at Pepperdine. He’s had double digits a team-best 14 times and has a team-leading 16.8 points per game. Wiltjer also posted a team season-high 32 points earlier this year against Georgia in Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinal. In WCC play, Wiltjer has continued his steady play, averaging 15.6 points per game in league contests to go along with 5.2 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game.

MAKING IT RAIN

  • Gonzaga leads the WCC and is ranked No. 15 in the nation in 3FG% at .403.
  • GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, is averaging 7.1 per game.
  • Gonzaga has made at least 10 threes in a game five times this season.
  • Ten players have made at least one three.
  • Kevin Pangos leads the team with 38 made threes and is shooting .469, second-best in WCC.
  • A GU player has made five threes in a game four times this season (Pangos 3, Bell Jr. 1).

PANGOS LIGHTING UP THE LEAGUE
In six West Coast Conference games, Kevin Pangos has been about as good as it gets. He’s averaging 15.2 points and 5.0 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s shooting .593 (16-27) from behind the arc and .857 (18-21) from the free throw line. He has 30 total assists in those six league games against just eight turnovers, a 3.75:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

#4EQUALS3
Follow Kevin Pangos’ road to the GU career three-point record on Twitter with #4equals3. With one more against Pepperdine on Thursday, Pangos’ total climbed to 279, third-best all-time at GU. That leaves him just one behind Richie Frahm’s 280 and nine behind Blake Stepp’s 288. Pangos ranks second nationally among active career three-point leaders, behind USD’ s Johnny Dee.

GONZAGA BIGS LIGHTS OUT
The combination of Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, Przemek Karnowski and Angel Nunez is shooting a collective .595 from the field at 297-for-499. The group has also combined to score 41.8 points per game. Karnowski is ranked 20th in the NCAA in field goal percentage and Wiltjer is ranked 53rd. Sabonis would rank at the top of the list, but does not have enough made field goals to qualify for the NCAA statistical minimums (5 made per game).

Gonzaga is one of just three teams to have two players ranked in the top 60 in the NCAA individually in field goal percentage, and would be the only team with three if Sabonis qualified.

Here’s the individual season breakdown:
Kyle Wiltjer - 117-220 (.532), 16.8 ppg
Przemek Karnowski - 88-149 (.591), 11.1 ppg
Domantas Sabonis - 71-97 (.732), 10.0 ppg
Angel Nunez - 21-33 (.636), 3.9 ppg

POLISH SKILLS
Junior center Przemek Karnowski is playing as confident as any point in his career during WCC play this season. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 blocks per game in six league contests. In those games he’s shooting .708 from the field (34-48), .667 from the free throw line (10-15) and made his only career three-pointer at Portland. For context, through the first five games of the year, Karnowski averaged 8.0 points per game and shot .333 (4-12) from the free throw line. He was named the WCC player of the week after his 21-point performance against Portland.

PANGOS OVER 1,600
With nine points against Pepperdine, Kevin Pangos became the 11th GU player ever to surpass 1,600 points in his career. He’s now at 1,605 for his career and in sole posession of 11th, just 16 points behind Richie Frahm for 10th.

SEEING DOUBLE
With Domantas Sabonis’ 18 points and 12 rebounds at Pepperdine, Gonzaga now has six double-doubles by five different players this season. Sabonis is the only player on the team with at least two. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Byron Wesley 15 pts., 10 reb. at BYU (12/27/14)
  • Przemek Karnowski 10 pts., 11 reb. at Arizona (12/6/14)
  • Angel Nunez 24 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
  • Kyle Wiltjer 17 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (11/22/14)
  • Domantas Sabonis 10 pts., 11 reb. vs. St. Joseph’s (11/19/14)
  • 18 pts., 12 reb. at Pepperdine (1/15/15)

 

 

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