Loyola Marymount halts Gonzaga’s winning streak at home at 76

Loyola Marymount halts Gonzaga’s winning streak at home at 76

SPOKANE, Wash. — Cam Shelton benched a go-ahead runner with 13 seconds left and Loyola Marymount ended No. 6 Gonzaga’s 76-game home winning streak with a 68-67 win Thursday night.

The Bulldogs’ home streak (16-4, 5-1 West Coast Conference) was the eighth-longest in Division I history. It included a November 20 win over Kentucky in a neutral game at Spokane Arena, which the NCAA called a home game considered for Gonzaga.

Shelton scored 27 points to lead the Lions (14-7, 4-3), who had not won at Spokane since 1991 and lost 25 straight to the Zags.

“For us, it’s another sign that our program is moving in the right direction and that’s the biggest thing,” said Loyola Marymount coach Stan Johnson. “Not too many people are going to come here and win, so I think it just stands there and validates the guys that we have in the dressing room and all the things that we’ve been trying to achieve.”

Gonzaga had won 83 straight games against unranked opponents, 46 of which came home.

“The home streak is over,” said Zags coach Mark Few. “It would eventually end and it ended in a tough, hard fought battle. Our guys fought back and had a chance to keep it going. … I don’t think anyone will touch that [streak] for some time.”

The Bulldogs’ streak of 36 straight wins in January also ended. They had won 11 times in total since losing to Baylor on December 2nd.

Jalin Anderson added 15 points and Keli Leaupepe had 11 for the Lions. Loyola Marymount led by as many as nine points in the second half, holding off Gonzaga’s late run.

LMU led 66-59 with 2:55 left after Shelton’s 3-pointer, but the Zags scored the next eight points to take a 67-66 lead on Drew Timme’s free throw with 41 seconds left. As the shot clock ran out, Shelton converted a runner from just outside the lane to give the Lions the lead and Timme’s final attempt at a win was partially blocked by Leuupepe.

Shelton’s skillful play was crucial for the Lions in the closing minutes.

“Cam’s had a really great year so far and I thought he was putting pressure on them to get in the paint,” Johnson said. “I thought he made some good decisions to find his guys and I thought he had great balance and that’s what you expect from an experienced point guard.”

Timme led the Zags with 17 points. Nolan Hickman had 12 points and six assists for the Zags in a 115-75 win over Portland on Saturday.

Gonzaga fought from the field, shooting 44.4% overall and scoring 4 of 14 (28.6%) from 3-point range and 15 of 23 (65.2%) from the free throw line.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.