Two teams heading in opposite directions are set to collide Saturday night in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga is rolling again with a three-game winning streak while San Francisco had lost six of its last seven. According to America’s Line, GU is favored by 26.5 points.
The Dons have the WCC’s leading scorer, Dior Lowhorn, who had 21 points at the MAC last year and helped his team stay close before falling 72-64 to Gonzaga. USF hasn’t won in Spokane since February 10, 1989.
Read on for a short, unedited preview of the Gonzaga-USF game that will run in Saturday’s S-R.
Gonzaga, fresh from shutting down
The Dons’ 6-foot-7 junior forward led the West Coast Conference in scoring a year ago and he’s back in the top spot this season at 20.4 points per game. Lowhorn, a transfer from Texas Tech, matched USF and NBA legend Bill Russell as the fastest in school history to reach 1,000 career points when he struck for 22 points in a 78-60 loss to
Lowhorn reached the 1,000-point mark in his 49th career game. Russell surpassed 1,000 career points in his 49th contest when he scored 24 points in a 62-50 victory against
Gonzaga limited Bryant to 12 points, five under his average, in Thursday’s 95-53 victory. The Bulldogs have held their last three opponents below 37-percent shooting. Only four GU foes have shot above 40 percent this season.
“That’s something we have to be able to hang our hats on,” Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. “We’re a jump-shooting team, and that’s not going to be there night in, night out. I think we kind of learned that the hard way, so we have to really depend on our defense and still keep trying to get scores in the paint and get ourselves to the free-throw line.”
That’s one of Lowhorn’s specialties. He’s attempted 104 free throws, second most in the WCC behind Saint Mary’s Diamon Simpson (117). Lowhorn also has made 23 of 47 3-pointers (48.9 percent) while leading USF in scoring in 13 of 18 games.
The Dons (8-10, 0-3 WCC), under first-year head coach Rex Walters, won five of their first six games, but they’ve dropped six of their last seven. They’ve made just 38.5 percent of their shots in three double-digit conference losses.
Gonzaga (11-4, 2-0) has forced 33 turnovers in two WCC wins, converting those into 46 points.
“If we get out and pressure the ball and play good defense we have a great chance of winning,” senior point guard Jeremy Pargo said.