Gonzaga (25-0, 13-0) at Saint Mary’s CA (22-2, 12-1)
When: Saturday, February 11th 2017
Where: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, CA
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
ESPN’s College GameDay will be on hand in Moraga, California for arguably the biggest game in Saint Mary’s history as they host the top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday night. Saint Mary’s will be hosting the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time since a loss to Bill Russell-led San Francisco in 1955. Saint Mary’s matched the program record for fewest games (22) to reach 20 wins and is looking to atone from an earlier beating in Spokane. The Gaels rank second nationally in scoring defense (54.6) and have been even better over their past two games, allowing an average of 34 while holding San Diego and Portland to a combined 26.3% from the field. Junior center Jock Landale leads Saint Mary’s in scoring (16.7) and rebounding (9.5) while shooting 60% from the field and he has recorded seven double-doubles in the past 10 games. The starting backcourt of junior guard Emmett Naar (10.1 ppg) and Rahon (8.8) were a combined 5-of-20 shooting in the first meeting against the Bulldogs in a 79-56 loss on January 14th. Calvin Hermanson (12.8 points) was just 2-of-11 from the field and scored nine points in Thursday’s 51-41 victory over Portland when the Gaels shot a season-low 30.6%.
The Bulldogs have won 10 of the last 12 games against Saint Mary’s and prepared for the rematch with a 90-60 thumping of Loyola Marymount on Thursday. Nigel Williams-Goss recorded 19 points and six assists in the first meeting when the Bulldogs shot 64.7% from the field and held the Gaels to 39.7%. Williams-Goss scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Thursday’s win over Loyola for his third double-double of the season and is averaging 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Senior shooting guard Jordan Mathews (10.6 points) scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers in the first meeting and junior forward Johnathan Williams (9.8) scored 14 points and matched his career high of five blocked shots. Center Przemek Karnowski (12.1 points) has scored in single digits in four of the past six contests and could use a big game. Gonzaga is 38-9 against Saint Mary’s during coach Mark Few’s 18-season coaching tenure.
Saint Mary’s has been good defensively this year, but Gonzaga really has their number and the Zags are looking forward to some stiff competition for a change. I believe Gonzaga will win this game by 10.
Pick: Gonzaga -4