The Gaels (12-3, 1-0 WCC) take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (15-1, 2-0 WCC) tonight for their first conference road game. The Gaels are coming off an at home win against LMU and are looking go 2-0 in the WCC. The Bulldogs are coming off a two game road winning streak beating both Pepperdine and Santa Clara.
The Gaels have lost to Pacific, Georgia Tech and Northern Iowa. The Bulldogs’ only loss was to the then ranked #13 Illinois on Dec. 8. Since then, Gonzaga has put together six straight victories.
The Gaels are led by senior guard and west coast conference player of the year Matthew Dellavedova. The Australian senior, averaging 17.4 points and a league-high 6.7 assists per game this season, has averaged 22.6 points in his last five matchups versus Gonzaga. Number two for the Gaels is Stephen Holt averaging 10.8 points per game. Dellavedova has been hot from 3-point land at 41.9%. He will need to keep up this pace to keep the Gaels in the mix.
The McCarthey athletic center has always been a hostile playing environment for all visiting teams. Over the last eight years Gonzaga has only lost 8 games at the center that opened in 2004. One of those loses came to St. Mary’s in Jan. 2011. No team has won more than one game at the New Kennel. Tonight will prove to be a big battle between Gonzaga’s front court and St. Mary’s back court. St. Mary’s will have to have a near perfect game to upset the 10 point favorite Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are led by Junior Kelly Olynyk averaging 17.1 points and 6.6 assists per game. Olynyk led the way with a career-high 33 points and 10 rebounds leading the Bulldogs to victory against Pepperdine. Number two for the Bulldogs is Elias Harris. He is the 10th leading career scorer and has been averaging 15 points per game.
In the back-court, the Bulldogs have Kevin Pangos. Pangos has been averaging 41% from three point land and 11.8 points per game.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first home game conference victory.