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No. 3 Gonzaga Seeks 21st Straight Win Over Loyola Marymount

The No. 3 Gonzaga Bulldogs head out on their second-last road swing of the season as they tip off against the Loyola Marymount Lions at the Albert Gersten Pavilion. Loyola Marymount is looking to string together victories for the first time since the end of January while Gonzaga is aiming to pick up its 15th win in a row. The Bulldogs have won 20 straight games over the Lions and are a 19.5-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 140 points.

Shark Bites
  • Gonzaga is 14-0 SU and 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • Loyola Marymount is 4-5 SU and ATS in its last nine games.
  • Gonzaga scores the most points per game in the nation this season (91.4).

Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Game Center

Bulldogs’ offense continues to bury their opponents

After falling to No. 8 in the AP poll with back-to-back losses to then-No. 7 Tennessee and then-No. 12 North Carolina, Gonzaga has rattled off 14 consecutive wins and has climbed to No. 3 in the poll. Included in the winning streak was a 73-55 home triumph over tonight’s opponent, Loyola Marymount.

The Bulldogs have been an absolute force offensively, pouring in an average of 91.4 points per game that leads the nation and is four points higher than second-place North Carolina. The majority of their offense comes from inside the arc as they average an NCAA-best 48.6 ppg from two-point range and they shoot 61.5 percent from that area. Additionally, they rank 40th with a 37.5 shooting percentage from three-point range which climbs to 39.3 in road games.

On the other side of the ball, Gonzaga has the 35th-rated defense, surrendering 65.3 points per game. That average skyrockets to 76.1 points per game away from home but falls to 62.5 at WCC. Overall, it limits foes to a shooting percentage of 38.3 that ranks seventh in the nation, but that climbs to 42.2 percent on the road. The biggest area of concern is defending the arc, as opponents are shooting 5.2 percentage points higher from downtown on the road. However, it does a better job cleaning the offensive glass on the road, securing one more offensive board than its season average.

Can the Lions’ Defense slow down the Bulldogs?

Loyola Marymount began the season with an 11-1 record, but has since gone just 6-7 straight up and it enters tonight’s game looking to pick up consecutive wins for the first time since the end of January. Most recently, the Lions earned a 72-55 road victory over Portland, snapping a two-game slide.

Putting points on the board has been a serious issue for Loyola Marymount this season as it scores just 66 points per game, the 50th-lowest average in college basketball, but that does jump to 70.6 ppg at home. It only gets 22.7 percent of its points from three-point range, doing most of its scoring inside the arc. That being said, the Lions only shoot 50.5 percent from inside the arc to rank 174th overall. They shoot 56.6 percent from that area at home.

Teams have struggled to pile up the points against the Lions, who rank 15th by giving up 63.1 points per game, a mark that increases slightly to 64.1 ppg at home. Their opponents shoot 50.4 percent from two-point range, dipping slightly to 48.2 percent at Albert Gertson Arena, but visiting teams shoot seven percentage points higher beyond the arc there in comparison to what the Lions allow overall on the season. The Lions do a good job limiting their opponents’ rebounds, surrendering just 6.9 offensive boards per game ranking 21st.

Should you be on the OVER?

Tonight’s game features the top-rated offense in the nation tipping off against a strong defense and Bovada has the total opening at 140 points. Oddsmakers have been on the ball for Bulldogs’ totals recently with four of their last eight games going OVER and the other four going UNDER with an average combined score of 150.38.

Loyola Marymount has also split its last eight totals, but only one game went OVER during that span. Additionally, when these two teams met on January 17 at Gonzaga, they played to a combined score of 128. However, the Lions’ defense actually plays worse at home and that’s not good against the Bulldogs. I think an OVER may be in the future.

My take on Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount

I like Gonzaga to cover the 19.5-point spread. Loyola Marymount allows one more point per game at home vs on the road and is less efficient there in defending shots from beyond the arc. The Lions held the Bulldogs to a 30.4 shooting percentage from downtown in the first meeting but Gonzaga also shoots three percentage points better on the road compared to at home.

Additionally, in their first meeting, the Lions shot 55.6 percent from beyond the arc, well over their season average as they rank 267th with a 32.4 shooting percentage from downtown. Since their meeting, Gonzaga has had an average winning margin of 34 with only one game being settled by fewer than 30 points.