If BYU Basketball wants to stay alive in the race for second place in the WCC, they’ll have to rebound, both literally and figuratively, against Loyola Marymount.
BYU Basketball followed up one of their best games of the season against St. Mary’s with one of their worst against Gonzaga.
Now they’ll need to right the ship when they host Loyola Marymount on Saturday night if they want to keep their hopes of a WCC Tournament double-bye alive.
Right now the Cougars sit a half-game behind San Francisco for that coveted second spot in the standings, with teams four through seven within a game of BYU.
One of those teams is Loyola Marymount. They’re 16-6 so far on the season and 4-4 in conference play. They’ve won their last two games, including a 60-42 home blowout over Pacific on Thursday night.
The Lions have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, and they’re more than capable of coming into the Marriott Center and beating the Cougars.
Here’s what BYU has to do to keep that from happening.
Yes, this again.
In their last three games, the Cougars have been outrebounded by 14, 14, and 10. They’re now being outrebounded on the season, and they allowed Gonzaga to get 14 second-chance points on Thursday night.
Loyola Marymount isn’t a great rebounding team by volume, only grabbing 34 per game, but they only give up 28.9 per game, meaning they’re very good at keeping their opponents off the boards.
Teams tend to shoot worse on the road (unless your name is Gonzaga), but rebounds can be an effective equalizer.
Mattias Markusson leads the Lions with 7.1 boards, but the entire team is good at boxing out and rebounding effectively. If they manage to dominate the boards they’ll keep themselves in the game against the Cougars.