- WCC powers Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga meet for the second time this season on Saturday, February 25
- No. 12 Gonzaga is a 4.5-point favorite over No. 15 Saint Mary’s in The Kennel in Spokane
- Read below for Saint Mary’s vs Gonzaga odds, analysis and prediction
No. 12 Gonzaga (24-5, 13-2 West Coast) is a 4.5-point home favorite over Saint Mary’s in a WCC game at 10pm ET Saturday on ESPN2. Gonzaga has won five in a row since a 78-70 overtime loss at Saint Mary’s on Feb. 4.
No. 15 Saint Mary’s (25-5, 14-1 West Coast) has won four in a row after falling to Loyola Marymount 79-74 on Feb. 9. That was the Gaels’ first game after their victory over the Bulldogs.
Saint Mary’s vs Gonzaga Odds
|Saint Mary’s Gaels||+4.5 (-102)||+172||Over 142.5 (-110)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs||-4.5 (-120)||-210||Under 142.5 (-110)|
Gonzaga is a 4.5-point favorite over Saint Mary’s in the WCC’s premier rivalry. The game opened with the Zags as a 5.5-point choice but immediately dropped.
Gonzaga has dominated this series, going 8-2 SU and 5-4-1 ATS since the 2020 season. Over the longer haul, the Bulldogs are 15-4 SU and 12-6-1 ATS since their victory in the 2016 WCC championship game.
St. Mary’s has won two of the last three meetings, most recently the 74-70 overtime win on Feb. 4. Gonzaga is 4-0 SU and 2-1-1 ATS in the last four home games.
Saint Mary’s is 18-11 ATS this season, among the best cover rates in Division I, but only 3-4 ATS on the road. Gonzaga is 10-17-1 against the number, among the worst rates in Division I. They are 6-5-1 ATS at home.
Odds from FanDuel on Feb. 24.
Gonzaga Has This One Circled
Gonzaga controlled the earlier meeting in Moraga. The Zags led for the final 37 minutes of regulation but stumbled in the final seconds.
A bad defensive rotation led to the Mitchell Saxen’s game-tying basket off an Aidan Mahaney pass with 5.5 seconds remaining, and Julian Strawther attempted a forced three-pointer with several seconds to spare as the clock wound down to send it to overtime.
The Zags trailed by four at 71-67 and had possession, but they missed two field goal attempts and had two turnovers in their final four overtime possessions.
Niche Stat Alert 🚨
Most Shooting Fouls Drawn Per 40 Minutes:
1. Tolu Smith
2. Javian Davis
3. Drew Timme
4. Armando Bacot
5. Oumar Ballo pic.twitter.com/cJuP7POW0k
— CBB Analytics (@CBBAnalytics) February 24, 2023
Drew Timme (21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Strawther (15.6, 6.3) are the Bulldogs’ most consistent scorers, and once again the Zags are the top-shooting team in the Division I, making 52.6% from the field.
Because of three-point options led by Strawher (68 threes) and guard Rasir Bolton (11.0 points, 40 threes), Gonzaga also leads Division I with an effective field goal percentage of 58.6%.
Timme is 58 points short of catching Frank Burgess to become the program’s career leading scorer.
The Bulldogs have been less consistently defensively than their recent editions, although they held San Diego scoreless for a six-minute, 13-second stretch in a 97-72 victory Thursday. Opponents are shooting 44.9 percent against them, in the lower third of Division I.
Saint Mary’s Seeks a Sweep
Saint Mary’s can make some recent history in the rematch here. The Gaels have not won the West Coast Conference regular-season championship outright since 2011-12, and they have not swept the season series from Gonzaga since 2015-16.
A victory would accomplish both. The Gaels’ coasted to an 83-52 victory over Pacific on Thursday to gain at least a share of the WCC crown.
Tenth Freshman of the Week award for Aidan Mahaney, tying Jalen Suggs for most in WCC history https://t.co/cJKWs8IYvU
— Alex Jensen (@ajensen86) February 20, 2023
Saint Mary’s has been the best team in the league since coach Randy Bennett inserted freshman point guard Aidan Mahaney into the starting lineup on Dec. 7 following a three-game losing streak that dropped the Gaels to 6-3.
Saint Mary’s puts the ball in 6’3″ Mahaney’s (14.8 points. 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists) hands in crunch time, and it has worked. He hit game-winning shots against and BYU and had the game-tying assist in the first Gonzaga game.
Senior guards Logan Johnson (14.3, 4.9, 3.7) and Alex Ducas (12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds) and junior big man Saxen (12.2, 8.3) are reliable, role-specific veterans in Bennett’s motion offense. Johnson, Ducas and forward Kyle Bowen (5.4, 7.4) have started every game the last two seasons. Johnson has scored 31, 34, 3, 27 and 29 points on 39 of 55 from the field in the five games since the Gonzaga loss.
Saint Mary’s vs Gonzaga Prediction
Gonzaga was the better team the first time they met, and being at home provides an added boost in the rematch. The stat that has the most relevance here is the visitor’s ability, through style and the quality of their system, to keep games close.
The Gaels’ five losses have come by four, two, five, four and four points. There is no arguing that Gonzaga will be motivated by a loss in the first meeting, but that is only worth so much.
Saint Mary’s is motivated by the fact of an outright WCC title. In a game matching one of the best spread teams in Division I against one of the worst, taking the points is the play.
- Pick: Saint Mary’s +4.5 (-102)
- Season CBK: 44-22 ATS
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