Spokane, Wash. – Cam Shelton He got the go-ahead with 13 seconds left and Loyola Marymount’s No. 6 home run hit Gonzaga’s 76-game winning streak in a 68-67 victory 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 victory over Kentucky in a neutral-site game at Spokane Arena, which the NCAA considered a Gonzaga home game.
Shelton scored 27 points to lead the Lions (14-7, 4-3), who haven’t won in Spokane since 1991 and have lost 25 in a row to the Zags.
“This is another sign that our program is heading in the right direction, and it’s the biggest thing,” said Loyola Marymount coach Stan Johnson. “Not many people will come here and win, so I think it just stands up and validates the players we had in the dressing room and all the things we were trying to achieve.”
Gonzaga had won 83 consecutive games against unranked opponents with 46 of those coming home.
“The home streak is over,” said Zags coach Mark Phew. “It was going to end at some point and it ended in a tough, hard-fought fight. Our guys fought and had a chance to keep it going. … I don’t think anyone would touch that.” [streak] For some time.”
The Bulldogs’ streak of 36 consecutive wins in the month of January also came to an end. They’ve won their 11th in a row since their loss to Baylor on December 2.
LMU led 66-59 with 2:55 remaining after Shelton’s three-pointer, but the Zags scored the next eight points to take a 67-66 lead. Drew TimFree throw with 41 seconds left in the game. With the shot clock ticking, Shelton converted a runner from outside the lane to give the Lions the lead, and Timme’s final try for the winner was blocked in part by Leaupepe.
Shilton’s clever play was decisive for the Lions in the final minutes.
“It’s been a really great year so far, and I thought it put pressure on them to get the paint,” Johnson said. “I thought he made some good decisions to find team mates and I think he has a great poise, which is what you want from a veteran goalkeeper.”
Timme led the Zags with 17 points. Nolan Hickman He lost 12 points and six assists for the Zags, who were coming off a 115-75 win over Portland on Saturday.
Gonzaga struggled off the field, shooting 44.4% overall and going 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.
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