It's going to be an emotional game for one player when LMU and Gonzaga face off, as the Bulldogs look to remain on the bubble.
TV schedule: Tuesday, January 30th, 11:00 pm ET. ESPN
Arena: McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington
Last week proved to be a tougher experience for Gonzaga (15-5, 6-1 WCC) than originally expected. They trailed San Francisco in the second half at home but could hold on for a 77-72 victory. They followed that with a 9-point win on the road at Pacific, despite trailing at halftime.
The final score was 82-73, with all five starters in double figures, led by Graham Ike with 20 points and Anton Watson with a double-double. The Bulldogs have won four straight games since the loss to Santa Clara, with three of them coming on the road. Ahead of an important matchup with Saint Mary's this weekend, Gonzaga takes on LMU (10-11, 3-4 WCC), who won in Spokane a year ago in the big upset.
While the star of that game (Cam Shelton) is gone, the Lions still has plenty of talent. Their leading scorer is Dominick Harris (14.7 ppg), who is making 43% from deep. He had just six points in the recent loss to Saint Mary's but did have 20+ points in 3 of the previous 4 games, including 22 at San Francisco.
Harris is a former top-100 recruit who spent his first two years at Gonzaga. He never got into the main rotation and played sparingly overall, before entering the transfer portal. He's proven that he can play at the WCC level and be a key piece for the Lions but the big question is whether or not LMU can be good enough to beat one of the top four teams in the league.
If the Bulldogs overlook this Tuesday night game, this could be closer than expected. But if Harris struggles and the Gonzaga frontcourt handles business, it may not be competitive. For now, I think the home team wins this but not in a blowout fashion, based on the past two weeks.
Prediction: Gonzaga 75, LMU 65