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Gonzaga (19-3) at San Francisco (14-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 10 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (5,300) -- San Francisco, California. Television: CSN-BAY, ROOT-NW, RM, TWC. Home Record: Gonzaga 12-0, USF 11-4. Away Record: Gonzaga 4-1, USF 3-4. Neutral Record: Gonzaga 3-2, USF 0-0. Conference Record: Gonzaga 9-1, USF 7-3. Series Record: Gonzaga leads, 47-22.

GAME NOTES: The Gonzaga Bulldogs will attempt to continue their reign atop the West Coast Conference standings on Saturday night when they venture to War Memorial Gymnasium for a showdown with the San Francisco Dons.

Since suffering its only WCC loss of the season on Jan. 9 at Portland (82-73), Gonzaga has reeled off five consecutive victories, most recently winning in dramatic, last-second fashion at Santa Clara on Wednesday night, 54-52. The Bulldogs are an outstanding 19-3 overall this season, which includes a stellar 4-1 mark on the road.

USF has also been streaking of late with three straight victories, all at home, including an 84-71 triumph over Portland on Wednesday to improve to 14-8 overall and 7-3 in conference action. The Dons, who will wrap up a five-game homestand with this matchup, have gone 11-4 at War Memorial Gymnasium this season.

Gonzaga made easy work of USF on Dec. 30 at home, 69-41, to improve its standing in the all-time series to 47-22.

The Bulldogs faced a seven-point deficit early in the second half at Santa Clara on Wednesday only to take over with a 10-point lead with less than four minutes to play, and while they lost control down the stretch and trailed by one in the waning moments, Sam Dower drilled a 3-pointer with two seconds left to lift them to victory. They overcame a poor field goal shooting night (.348) with a 17-of-19 showing at the foul line and were led by 15 points from Gary Bell Jr. Dower scored 13 points and Przemek Karnowski finished 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Not only are Gonzaga the WCC's highest-scoring team (80.7 ppg) but it is also one of the nation's most efficient, as it ranks third in field goal percentage (.508) and second in 3-point percentage (.425). Its scoring defense is impressive as well, holding opponents to just 65.9 ppg. Pacing the balanced squad is Kevin Pangos (15.7 ppg), who's drained 60 3-pointers at a 45.1 percent clip while also finding time to hand out 4.2 apg. Dower (14.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) is a force in the paint, making greater than 60 percent of his field goal tries. Bell, Jr. (12.4 ppg) and Karnowski (10.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg) bring consistent contributions to the table, while Gerard Coleman, Drew Barham and David Stockton all net between 7.1 and 7.5 ppg.

The Dons opened up a double-digit halftime lead over Portland earlier in the week and never looked back from there en route to the 13-point victory. While they allowed Portland to shoot 49.1 percent from the field, they were even better at 56.3 percent and were paced by the efforts of Cole Dickerson (21 points) and Kruize Pinkins (20 points, seven rebounds). Avry Holmes chipped in 15 points to the winning cause, while Mark Tollefsen scored 12.

USF has established a similar theme all season long, as it plays less-than- stellar defense, allowing 75.1 ppg, but makes up for it with a strong offensive attack, netting 77.6 ppg itself on 48.3 percent field-goal shooting. Dickerson is one of the WCC's top forwards with 14.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, and while he's able to stretch the floor with a 24-of-67 showing from 3-point range (.358), he's hurt his team with a dreadful free-throw percentage (.507). Pinkins (12.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is also an essential asset down low, while Holmes (11.8 ppg), Tollefsen (11.4 ppg), Matt Glover (8.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Tim Derksen (8.8 ppg) round out the deep attack.

USF has played very well on its home floor and should be able to give Gonzaga a run for its money. The Bulldogs showed earlier in the week that they are indeed vulnerable away from home, but expect them to pull out another close one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Gonzaga 78, San Francisco 75

02/01 11:56:14 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
6th
SFG 4
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
 
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
 
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
 
4th
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
 
4th
PSU 7
OSU 17
 
2nd
UTAH 7
USC 7
 
1st
WASH 0
ARST 0
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
 
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
2nd Intermission
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
1st Intermission
CAL 0
WAS 1
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14