#2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (23-1) vs. St. Mary’s Gaels (19-5)
Date/Time: Saturday, February 8, 2020 10:00 PM ESPN
Gonzaga is the second-ranked team in the nation, and they hit the road to face their longtime rival St. Mary’s in a late Saturday night ESPN game.
On the season Gonzaga is 13-11 ATS with an O/U record of 19-5 and St. Mary’s is 12-11 ATS with an O/U record of 15-8.
Since suffering their only loss of the season Gonzaga has reeled off 15 straight wins. Not only are the ranked second in the nation but also are the second-highest scoring team in the nation putting up an average of 88.6 ppg. The Bulldogs are three games clear of St., Mary’s in the WCC standings and last season beat them twice in the regular season but was shocked losing to them in the WCC title game.
St. Mary’s had their four-game winning streak snapped in their last game. While the Gaels are led by a legit defense that is only giving up an average of 65.6 ppg they gave up 81 points in losing their last game. Can they repeat last season’s shocking win over the Bulldogs in the WCC title game where they held them to only 47 points?
This season St. Mary’s is 11-2 at home and Gonzaga is 8-0 on the road.
Surviving a Scare in the City By the Bay
In their last game Gonzaga was given a scare on the road beating San Francisco 83-79 where they outscored the Dons by 12 points in the second half. They shot the ball much better (54% to 40.9%) but gave up more offensive rebounds and had 15 turnovers while only forcing seven.
Five Zags players scored in double figures in the win over USF led by Filip Petrusev with 23 points and 11 boards and Drew Timme, who about doubled his season average (9.6 ppg) going for 19 points.
Petrusev (17 ppg 7.8 rpg) is the leading scorer and rebounder for a deep Gonzaga team that has six players averaging in double figures. He is a 6’ 11” forward that has totaled 54 points and 20 rebounds in his last two games. Corey Kispert (14.1 ppg) has only totaled 20 points in his last two games after totaling 35 points in his previous two games.
The Streak is Over
In their last game St. Mary’s saw their four-game win streak end with an 81-79 road loss to BYU. The Gaels looked to have the game in hand but allowed the Cougars to go on a late 6-0 run and nail a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left. The Gaels shot a solid 53.6% from the floor but they allowed BYU to shoot 57.9%.
Four of five starters for St. Mary’s scored in double figures in the loss to BYU with Malik Fitts leading the way with 29 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Ford had 18 points.
Ford (21.1 ppg) is the leading scorer for a St. Mary’s team that only has three players averaging in double figures. It is key that he and Fitts (16.9 ppg) play well in this big WCC encounter. Fitts is also the leading rebounder for the team (7.5 rpg) and he has scored 29 and 27 points, respectively, in his last two games.
After covering the spread in five straight where they were favored by at least 16 points Gonzaga has failed to cover in their last two games.
Despite a loss in their last game St. Mary’s has covered the spread in their last five games.
Bettorsworld Predicted Score – Gonzaga 77 St Mary’s 72