Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s Prediction, Game Preview

    Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's prediction and game preview. The top-ranked Bulldogs face a tough test Saturday night as the host Gaels seek revenge from a defeat earlier in the season.

    February 10, 2017

    Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s prediction and game preview. The top-ranked Bulldogs face a tough test Saturday night as the host Gaels seek revenge from a defeat earlier in the season.

    Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Feb. 11 – 8:15 p.m. ET
    Where: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, Calif.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    The hype began in the preseason that St. Mary’s would challenge Gonzaga for the West Coast Conference crown with both teams being dark horse Final Four contenders. Then the Zags just kept winning while the Gaels struggled at time, leaving Gonzaga as the clear front-runner.

    That became even more apparent after the first meeting, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 79-56 home victory Jan. 14 in a game that Gonzaga dominated from start to finish. Since then, the Zags have improved to 25-0 and are the No. 1 team in the country. St. Mary’s, despite its 22-2 record and 12-1 mark in the WCC, doesn’t look nearly as impressive.

    The Gaels escaped with a 74-70 win at Pacific on Feb. 2, then Thursday shot a dismal 30.6 percent from the field against a Portland team that is just 2-11 in conference play. They pulled out a 51-41 victory that was their ugliest of the season.

    An effort similar to the Portland game will get St. Mary’s run out of their own gym. And Gonzaga will be ready to do just that to put more separation between the teams atop the WCC standings.

    Gonzaga Wins If …

    … Nigel Williams-Goss stays hot. Check out the likely conference player of the year’s numbers over his last four games: 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 68 percent shooting from the field while also turning the ball over only six times despite being the Zags’ primary ball-handler. Williams-Goss finished with 19 points while shooting 8-of-14 in the first meeting against St. Mary’s, and he’ll be looking to torment the Gaels again.

    St. Mary’s Wins If …

    … it gets better play from its guards. Joe Rahon and Emmett Naar shot a combined 7-for-19 against Portland, and both have had their struggles shooting lately. The scary part is that they’ll be facing far better competition than what’s kept them quiet recently. Rahon and Naar combined to shoot 5 of 20 in the first meeting with the Bulldogs if that gives an indication of what they’re up against Saturday night.

    Matchup To Watch

    Jock Landale vs. Przemek Karnowski

    The 6-foot-11 Landale is shooting 60 percent on the season and averaging 16.7 points with 9.5 rebounds per game. He’s been an anchor for St. Mary’s in the paint when the perimeter game hasn’t been working. Karnowski helped hold Landale to 10 points in the first meeting, and the Gonzaga big man will need to shut him down again.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: No line as of post
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s Prediction

    Gonzaga is going to be too much. Williams-Goss will dominate and take the crowd out of it early and St. Mary’s won’t be able to recover.

    Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s final score prediction: Gonzaga 74, St. Mary’s 62

    MORE: Northwestern’s Chris Collins Forging His Own Legacy


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