Less than 24 hours before the Gonzaga-Saint Mary's showdown at the MAC. The Bulldogs' 11-year rule of the WCC is in jeopardy as GU (18-4, 8-2 WCC) trails the Gaels (22-2, 11-0) as the regular season winds down. That was the topic of my article that will run in Thursday's S-R. Here's the link.
Below, you'll find a quick glance at the GU-SMC matchup and a couple of notes that will appear in tomorrow's college basketball notebook.
RECORD: 18-4, 8-2 WCC
COMING UP: Tonight vs. Saint Mary’s, 8 (ESPN2), Saturday vs. LMU, 5 p.m. (KHQ/Root)
OUTLOOK: The 16th-ranked Gaels, winners of 12 straight, have thumped their closest WCC pursuers – BYU by 16 and 14; GU by 21, the most lopsided conference loss in coach Mark Few’s 13 years. In the first meeting, Matthew Dellavedova, frontrunner for WCC player of the year, had 26 points and six assists and the Gaels got big efforts from forwards Brad Waldow (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Mitchell Young (12 points, six boards) and guard Stephen Holt (13 points, six rebounds). “That’s probably been the key to their season, contributions from everybody across the board,” Few said. SMC’s interior players got the best of its GU counterparts. “They took it to us,” Bulldog forward Elias Harris said. “I’m glad we have another chance to play them and try to redeem ourselves.”
LMU, tied for third with BYU, gave Gonzaga fits last month before falling 62-58. Harris and Gary Bell Jr. combined for 35 points.
Spangler gets OK
Gonzaga freshman forward Ryan Spangler has been cleared to participate in practices and games, according to a GU release. He missed three weeks after having surgery to repair a broken left pinkie finger.
In 13 appearances, Spangler averaged 7 minutes, 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Saint Mary’s has put up some impressive individual and team numbers. The Gaels rank in the top 72 (out of 338 Division I schools) in 14 of 18 statistical categories tracked by the NCAA.
In WCC stats, the Gaels have five different players leading at least one category: Matthew Dellavedova, No. 1 in minutes played (36.8), assists (6.4) and assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.3), No. 3 in scoring (15.5); Rob Jones, No. 1 in rebounding (10.7), offensive rebounds (3.1) and defensive rebounds (7.6), No. 3 in minutes (33.6) and No. 5 in scoring (14.8); Brad Waldow, No. 1 in field-goal percentage (65.5); Stephen Holt, No. 1 in steals (2.0), No. 2 in assists-to-turnovers ratio (2.0), No. 6 in assists (3.5); Jorden Page, No. 1 in free-throw percentage (87.5).
Clint Steindl is No. 2 in 3-point percentage (43.8).