SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Sensational freshman Elias Harris scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds as No. 15 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 85-69 on Saturday night for its eighth consecutive victory.
Matt Bouldin added 19 points and Steven Gray 18 for Gonzaga (16-3, 5-0 West Coast Conference), which beat LMU for the 29th time in 31 meetings.
Loyola Marymount (10-11, 1-4 WCC), picked to finish last in the conference, had the game tied at 42 at halftime, behind 16 points by Vernon Teel. Their shooting dropped off in the second half and the Bulldogs pulled away.
Gonzaga scored the first eight points of the second half, including Robert Sacre's first basket in a game and a half, for a 50-42 lead.
The Lions made only three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half. An 11-2 Gonzaga run, featuring a thunderous Sacre dunk and six points by Harris, gave the Zags a 67-51 lead with 10:48 left.
Loyola got within 74-66 on a basket by Tim Diederichs with 6 minutes left, but Gonzaga pulled away at the free throw line.
Harris, a 6-foot-8 forward from Germany, has averaged a double-double over the past eight games. He's averaging 15 points and eight rebounds per game on the season.
Teel led the Lions with a career-high 27 points and handed out seven assists, while Drew Viney added 20 points.
Gonzaga shot 51 percent in the game, to 43 percent for LMU, and won the rebound battle 40-33.
In the first half, Teel's long jumper gave the Lions a 15-14 lead with just over 12 minutes left before Harris put Gonzaga back on top with a three-point play. But Kevin Young hit a 3-pointer and followed it immediately with an alley-oop dunk for a 20-19 LMU lead.
Bouldin replied with consecutive 3-pointers and the Zags clung to that lead until a late 9-2 run by the Lions allowed them to tie the score at the break. The Lions hurt themselves by making just 6 of 15 free throw attempts in the opening half.
Loyola has not beaten a ranked team since the 1990 NCAA tournament, when they beat Alabama to reach the Elite Eight.
Gonzaga is 69-4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004. They have won 21 consecutive games versus WCC opponents.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved