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Gonzaga (24-6) at Saint Mary's-CA (21-9)



The Sports Network

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

FACTS & STATS: Site: McKeon Pavilion (3,500) -- Moraga, California. Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: Gonzaga 15-0, SMC 15-2. Away Record: Gonzaga 6-4, SMC 6-5. Neutral Record: Gonzaga 3-2, SMC 0-2. Conference Record: Gonzaga 14-3, SMC 11-6. Series Record: Gonzaga leads, 58-27.

GAME NOTES: The West Coast Conference regular season will come to an end on Saturday night at McKeon Pavilion, as the league-champion Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the Saint Mary's Gaels.

Gonzaga stumbled with back-to-back losses last week but was finally able to clinch its second straight WCC regular-season title (and 15th in the last 17 seasons) on Thursday night with a 70-53 triumph at Pacific and has earned a coveted double-bye into the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Bulldogs are now 24-6 overall and 14-3 in league play, although they have been simply modest on the road at 6-4.

Saint Mary's has been stellar overall this season at 21-9, but it currently sits in just fourth place in the WCC with an 11-6 conference mark. The Gaels are winners of two straight, taking down Santa Clara last Saturday (76-54) before downing Portland on Thursday (70-61) to improve to an excellent 15-2 at home.

The teams met for the first time this season back on Jan. 2, with Gonzaga winning easily at home, 73-51. The Bulldogs have now won four straight over the Gaels to improve to 58-27 in the all-time series.

The Bulldogs made a statement early in their most recent contest, running out to a 12-point halftime lead over Pacific before putting the game on cruise control from there to capture the WCC title. Although they shot just a modest 42 percent from the field, they held Pacific to only 30.9 percent shooting. Kevin Pangos scored a game-high 18 points, Drew Barham shot 4-of-6 from 3- point range off the bench for 17 points and Przemek Karnowski tallied nine points and nine rebounds.

On the season, Gonzaga's offensive attack has been outstanding, as it scores 77.3 ppg while ranking eighth in the nation in field-goal percentage (.495) and ninth in 3-point percentage (.399), and on top of its stellar shooting it also plays great defense, yielding just 65.7 ppg. Pangos (14.8 ppg, 4.0 apg) has knocked down 75 3-pointer at a 41.4 percent clip and has also made 89.1 percent of his free-throw tries. Sam Dower (14.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Karnowski (10.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg) are an impressive frontcourt duo, and Gary Bell Jr. brings 11.2 ppg to the table.

The Gaels took a four-point lead into intermission versus Portland last week, and while they were never able to extend their advantage to double figures, they also never coughed up the lead. They shot 44.4 percent from the field in the triumph, including 11-of-29 from beyond the arc, with Stephen Holt's 26 points leading the way. Brad Waldow tallied 14 points and nine rebounds, Kerry Carter scored 12 points on 4-of-8 from 3-point range and Beau Levesque put up eight points, six boards, four assists and four steals.

Saint Mary's has been impressive on both ends of the floor this season, shooting 46.1 percent from the field for 73.2 ppg, while allowing just 65.2 ppg on 44.5 percent shooting, and it also boasts a strong +4.5 rebounding margin. Waldow anchors to paint, shooting 57.9 percent from the floor en route to 15.9 ppg to go with 7.9 rpg and 1.4 bpg, but he's attempted 213 free throws to just 60.1 percent efficiency. Holt scores 15.1 ppg and has more than twice as many assists (124) as turnovers (57), while James Walker III (9.9 ppg), Levesque (9.8 ppg) and Carter (9.6 ppg) are all on the doorstep of double figures.

While it's possible Gonzaga could let off the gas pedal a bit having already clinched the top seed in next week's conference tournament, it still needs to rack up quality wins for its NCAA Tournament resume. Even if the Bulldogs give their all, they'll be hard-pressed to take down a Gaels' squad that has played very well at home.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Mary's 74, Gonzaga 72

03/01 10:56:33 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3rd
TOR 79
NYK 67
 
2nd
CLE 28
MEM 23
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
 
2nd
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
2nd
SCAR 60
COKR 40
 
2nd
HAMP 38
NARZ 27
 
2nd
SDU 53
SDCHR 31
 
2nd
BC 48
USC 49
 
Half
NICST 32
TROY 25
 
Half
BRAD 27
UCI 22
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
2nd
STL 3
NYG 20
 
2nd
OAK 7
BUF 7
 
2nd
DAL 21
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA