'Zags Face LMU In Tuneup For Pepperdine Rematch

Feb. 13, 2002

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gonzaga's rematch with Pepperdine is coming up on Saturday, but first the Bulldogs must focus on Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

The No. 8 Bulldogs (22-3, 9-1 West Coast Conference) play their final two home games of the regular season vs. the Lions on Thursday and vs. the Waves on Saturday in a contest that should decide the WCC title.

Pepperdine is 10-0 in league play, Gonzaga's lone WCC loss came against the Waves 88-79 on Jan. 18.

"We can't overlook Thursday's game," said senior Dan Dickau, who leads the 'Zags with an average of 20.6 points per game. "This team has done a good job of focusing on the next game, and this week is no different. I know we want another shot at Pepperdine, but we have to take care of business against Loyola Marymount first."

It's easy to see how Gonzaga could take the Lions (9-15, 2-8) for granted.

Loyola Marymount has lost 13 straight games against the Bulldogs since its last win in the series back in 1996.

The Lions, who have lost seven straight overall this season, shot 39 percent in Saturday's 80-67 loss to San Francisco. Freshman Andy Osborn led Loyola with 17 points as it failed to shoot over 40 percent for the sixth time in seven games.

While the Lions have stumbled, Gonzaga is off to its best start since joining the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1958-59 season. The 1998-99 squad was 20-5 after 25 games.

Sophomore Cory Violette scored a career-high 25 points and added 15 rebounds to power a strong inside game for Gonzaga as it held off San Diego 77-76 on Saturday.

"He's one tough, tough hombre," coach Mark Few said of the 6-foot-8, 255-pound Violette. "That was clutch."

Dickau hit five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points.



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