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Gray, Gonzaga cruise past Loyola Marymount to WCC title

Feb 20, 2009 - 7:17 AM SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Another season, another West Coast Conference regular-season title for Gonzaga.

Steven Gray scored 21 of his career-high 23 points in the second half as 20th-ranked Gonzaga clinched at least a share of its ninth straight regular-season title with a 91-54 rout of Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

"We still have plenty left to accomplish, we want to win the WCC outright and continue to improve our NCAA resume these final weeks," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.

Josh Heytvelt had 18 points, Micah Downs contributed 16 and Austin Daye added 13 in a dominant effort by the Bulldogs (20-5, 11-0 WCC).

Gonzaga shot over 50 percent (31-of-61) from the field and sank 11-of-21 from 3-point range. Gray led the charge from behind the arc, knocking down 5-of-7 attempts.

"We tried to get Micah Downs going as well as Steven Gray," Few said. "Everybody played well tonight."

With a win Saturday against Pepperdine, the Bulldogs would lock up the outright league title and clinch the top seed in the WCC tournament.

Vernon Teel and Kevin Young paced the Lions (2-25, 1-10) with 13 points apiece.

The Bulldogs controlled play inside as well to compliment the perimeter shooting, owning a 40-25 edge on the glass while seven different players contributed to a 10-block effort on defense.

"We played the right way tonight, we shared the ball on offense and extended our hands on the defensive end," Few said.

Daye had seven points early as Gonzaga opened the contest on a 17-2 run. The Lions would not get within single digits the rest of the way in a matchup between the WCC's best and worst.