Gonzaga To Face No. 9 Seed LMU in Saturday Semifinal
LAS VEGAS - Top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Gonzaga University will face No. 9 seed Loyola Marymount University in Saturday's 6 p.m. semifinal of the West Coast Conference Tournament.
The Lions, who went 1-15 in WCC regular-season play with the lone win over Santa Clara University, stunned the fourth-seeded Broncos 60-58 Friday at The Orleans Arena for their third tournament win in as many nights.
Anthony Ireland scored 23 points, had three assists and seven steals to lead the Lions. His layup with six ticks to play gave LMU a 59-58 lead, and he made 1-of-2 free throws with :02 to play for the final margin. SCU's Kevin Foster missed a long-range 3-pointer at the buzzer that went high off the backboard.
The Lions downed No. 8 University of Portland 65-54 in Wednesday's first round, then downed fifth-seeded University of San Francisco 61-60 in overtime Thursday.
The Bulldogs put an 88-43 thumping on the Lions in Los Angeles in the first meeting this season, then completed the season sweep with a 74-55 victory in Spokane. The Zags lead the all-time series 57-23. The Bulldogs have won 35 of the last 38 meetings dating back to 1996. The last win for the Lions was a 74-66 verdict at Gersten Pavilion in 2010. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is 28-3 versus the Lions while LMU head coach Max Good is 1-10 against the Zags.
Saturday will be the eighth WCC Tournament meeting between the Bulldogs and Lions with Gonzaga holding a 5-2 edge in the tourney series. The teams last met in the tournament in 2010 when No. 1 Gonzaga downed the fifth-seeded Lions 77-62 in the semifinals.
Gonzaga went 16-0 in the WCC this season and brings a 29-2 record into Saturday's play as the Zags are looking for their inaugural 30-win season in program history.
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