Gonzaga University's Elias Harris notched 13 points and collected six rebounds in the January 10 home win over St. Mary's. (Photo : REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
The Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the St. Mary's Gaels Thursday night in a West Coast Conference match-up at 11 p.m. EST on ESPN2. The Zags defeated the Gaels in their previous game this season.
Gonzaga has won six straight entering tonight's contest. Both losses this season came to the 13th-ranked team at the time: the most recent defeat at the Butler Bulldogs 64-63 on January 19, and a December 8 loss to Illinois 85-74. During the winning streak, the Zags have scored at least 65 points in every game and allowed no more than 63. The team is seventh in the nation in points per game (78.6) and second in field goal percentage (.507).
Kelly Olynyk is the leading point scorer for Gonzaga, averaging 17.7 points per game. He's also first in field goal percentage (.652) and is second in rebounding (7.2 rpg). Elias Harris picks up 7.2 boards per contest and is also shooting over .500 (.502). Kevin Pangos has 3.5 assists per game to pace the team in that department and is the best three-point shooter at .453.
In the 74-55 home drubbing of Loyola Marymount, the Zags had a better shooting percentage overall and from three-point land. They also totaled more rebounds (38-23), assists (17-5) and blocks (4-2). Harris had a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds. Olynyk and Pangos each had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists in the victory. Onlynyk missed one shot all night.
St. Mary's is another top-ten shooting team, entering the game with a .493 mark. The Gaels have won nine in a row, which is every game since the previous defeat to Gonzaga. St. Mary's beat San Francisco, Portland and San Diego twice each during the stretch. The Gaels have only lost two games since December 1.
Matthew Dellavedova averages 15.9 points per game for his team, also leading the assists category with 6.6 per contest. Brad Waldow is the leading rebounder (5.7 per game) and shooter (.626 shooting percentage). Beau Levesque has the best three-point shot, connecting at a .437 clip.
In the latest W over San Diego, Dellavedova tied for the game-high in points with 19, added four rebounds and also had a game-high seven assists. The Gaels outshot the Toreros from the floor and the arc, but only made six of 15 free throws.
St. Mary's hung within five of Gonzaga, then the ninth-best team in the country. The January 10 contest in Spokane was an 83-78 final, with Olynyk registering 31 points, his second-highest total of the season. (He scored 33 points the game before against Santa Clara.) Olynyk also had a game-high eight rebounds. Stephen Holt added 23 points for the visitors, while both Waldow and Mitchell Yound racked up seven boards.