Gonzaga never trailed and despite missed early opportunities, the Bulldogs played inspired, disruptive defense that stifled Steve Aggers' Lions and held the overmatched LMU squad to a mere 32% from the field, enabling the Zags to build a 12-point lead by halftime.
But it was the stellar play of senior Blake Stepp that ignited the rout, with Erroll Knight on the receiving end of some roof-raising slam dunk lobs. Once the momentum was in the Zags' hands, the 12-point halftime lead suddenly grew to 20, then 30, and eventually 36 before the reserves took the court.
LMU did make a run at Gonzaga early in the final 20 minutes, scoring the first six points of the half to cut it to a 6-point Zag lead. But Stepp started banging down treys and GU's bigs took over. Soon, the game was decided.
Ronny Turiaf and Cory Violette did well inside, though Violette struggled to finish many power post moves. Kyle Bankhead played with poise and Tony Skinner, in his first game since New Year's Eve, took charges and helped with inspired defense.
The "Play of the Game": Erroll Knight blocks a shot on the defensive end, then races to the other end to receive a lob pass from Stepp and jam it down.
Gonzaga returns to action on its final WCC road series at San Francisco and second-place St. Mary's. The San Francisco game is 8:00pm on ESPN2, Thursday, February 12.