While No. 24 Gonzaga has other players capable of taking it deep into the NCAA Tournament, its success could ultimately ride on the shoulders of sophomore Przemek Karnowski. The 7-1 center hopes to build on the momentum of one of the top offensive games of his career as the Bulldogs try to get closer to their 13th West Coast Conference regular-season championship in the last 14 years when they host last-place Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Gonzaga has won 24 straight home games and 27 WCC contests in a row at the McCarthey Athletic Center and leads second-place Saint Mary's by three games with five WCC contests to play.Karnowski had 17 points and seven rebounds in the Bulldogs' 83-68 victory over Pepperdine on Thursday, and while Gonzaga's strength lies in its backcourt, a stronger presence down low will help when March rolls around. "I thought he was really good in the second half. I challenged him a little bit at halftime ... ," coach Mark Few told the school website about Karnowski, who scored seven straight points during a decisive 13-2 run. The Lions have lost five straight and 11 of their last 12 contests following a 71-64 setback at Portland on Thursday, and have dropped eight in a row against Gonzaga.TV: 8 p.m. ET, Root SportsABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (11-15, 3-11 WCC): The Lions have only seven scholarship players because of injuries, but senior Anthony Ireland (team-best averages of 18.4 points and 5.5 assists) has never missed a game as he puts the final touches on his stellar career. The 5-10 guard has scored 2,054 career points in a school-record 123 games and is seven points shy of moving into third on Loyola Marymount's all-time scoring list ahead of Forrest McKenzie, and behind the late Hank Gathers (2,490) and Terrell Lowery (2,201). Freshmen Evan Pane (15 points) and Gabe Levin (11 points, team-high 7.3 rebounds) are the other key cogs offensively.ABOUT GONZAGA (22-4, 12-1): Few called Thursday's game a workmanlike performance as his team prepares for the NCAA Tournament despite playing inferior competition. The Bulldogs, though, play their final four regular-season games on the road - including contests at Saint Mary's and third-place Brigham Young, so that should toughen them up a bit prior to the WCC tournament in Las Vegas. A concern for Gonzaga is the health of junior guard Kevin Pangos (team-best 15.1 points per game), who has dealt with a turf toe issue for most of the season and a nagging ankle injury which he re-aggravated during practice last week. TIP-INS1. Saturday will mark the final home game for the Bulldogs' Sam Dower Jr., Drew Barham, Brian Bhaskar and David Stockton, son of Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton.2. Dower (14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds per game) was held to seven points Thursday, snapping a streak of 10 contests in double figures in which he averaged 17.4 points.3. Gonzaga has won 37 of the last 39 meetings dating to 1996 after the teams split the first 42 encounters.PREDICTION: Gonzaga 78, Loyola Marymount 62