The Gaels face off with the Bulldogs tonight in Moraga for one of the best rivalry games perhaps in all of college basketball. Tonight’s battle will lead to either a tie for first place in the WCC with a Gael win, or Gonzaga will stand in first place alone with a Gael loss.
Over the last eight meetings the teams are tied at four a piece. The last four years of the WCC tournament have been a Gael/Bulldog fight. The result; each team has won two.
The Gaels come into tonight’s game 21-4 overall and 10-1 WCC. The Gaels are coming off a nine-game win streak and are hoping for number 10. Last week, the Gaels went on the road to pick up solid wins at Santa Clara and San Diego.
Leading the way for the Gaels is Matthew Dellavedova who is putting up 15.4 points per game and 6.6 assists. The Gaels have three other players in double digits with Steven Holt at11.4 Brad Waldow at 10.2 and off the bench Beau Levesque with 11.0. Levesque has lead the Gael bench and should be a strong offensive force tonight.
Nationally, the Gaels are ranked 14th in points per game averaging 77.8. They are 9th overall in field goals percentage with 49.3.
If the Gaels are to win they will have to explode from the three point line tonight and keep their defense strong. If there is a weakness within the Bulldog game, it is the rebounding point average component where Gonzaga averages 36.5 per game which ranks them 107th,
The Bulldogs come into Moraga ranked number five in the nation. They have been solid on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court all year. They are currently 23-2 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the WCC.
Leading for Gonzaga is forward Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk, a junior, averages 17.7 points per game. Also in double figures is forward Elias Harris averaging 14.8 and guard Kevin Pangos averaging 11.9. In overall scoring the Bulldogs are ranked 7th in the nation with a 78.6 average. Most impressive for Gonzaga is their felid goal percentage. The Bulldogs are averaging 50.2% from the floor which ranks them second in the country.
Gonaza has gone 14-1 in their last 15 games losing only to Butler 64-63 where that game could have gone either way.
St. Mary’s and Gonzaga last met in Washington, Jan 10th, with a Gael loss 83-78
Both teams match up well on both ends of the court. Look for an all out battle tonight with 1st place on the line. The action starts at 8:00pm and can be seen on ESPN2. As always, the game can be heard on smcgaels.com with Alex Jensen behind the mic.