No. 6 Gonzaga beats Loyola-Marymount 74-55

No. 6 Gonzaga beats Loyola-Marymount 74-55
February 9, 2013, 10:23 pm
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Gonzaga's Elias Harris (20) puts up a shot over Loyola Marymount's Godwin Okonji during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)

(APWF)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Kevin Pangos and Kelly Olynyk each scored 20 points as No. 6 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 74-55 on Saturday, a victory which left the Zags poised to break into the top five on Monday.

Elias Harris added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga (23-2, 10-0 West Coast), which should benefit from losses by No. 1 Indiana, No. 3 Michigan and No. 5 Kansas this week.

Anthony Ireland tied a career high with 30 points to lead cold-shooting Loyola Marymount (8-16, 1-10), which has lost eight straight games and is last in the league.

Loyola Marymount, playing its third game in six days, has lost seven straight times to Gonzaga since their last win in 2010. But they have lost 23 straight times in Spokane, dating to 1992.

Olynyk was 7 of 8 from the floor and all six of his free throws, and Pangos hit four 3-pointers.

Gonzaga's only losses this season are to Illinois, which this week beat No. 1 Indiana, and No. 14 Butler.

Loyola took its only lead at 8-7, but Gonzaga rode a pair of 3-pointers by Pangos to a 17-13 advantage.

Ireland scored 13 early points to keep the Lions close, as Loyola trailed just 19-17 after 10 minutes. Gonzaga had seven turnovers in that time.

Then Olynyk scored eight close-range points during a 12-4 Gonzaga run for a 31-21 lead.

Gonzaga led 36-25 at halftime, after shooting 55 percent while holding Loyola to 22 percent (7 of 31). The Lions stayed in the game by making all 10 of their free throws, and benefited from 11 Gonzaga turnovers that led to 12 points.

Loyola's Ashley Hamilton hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, but Gonzaga responded with an 18-6 run, seven of the points by Pangos, that lifted the Bulldogs to a 54-34 lead with 11 minutes left.

Ireland scored eight straight Lions' points, but they trailed 63-44 with seven minutes left. Loyola did not threaten after that.

Gonzaga outrebounded Loyola 43-29, and shot 51 percent in the game to 29 percent for Loyola.

Gonzaga's 23-2 start is the best since the 2003-04 team opened 28-2.

Gonzaga is 117-8 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.