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Gonzaga men hold significant advantage over Saint Mary’s in 93 matchups

Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams blocks a shot by Joe Rahon of Saint Mary’s on Jan. 14 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga forward Johnathan Williams blocks a shot by Joe Rahon of Saint Mary’s on Jan. 14 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs face another test Saturday when they take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels in Moraga, California.

Saturday’s game, featured as the location for ESPN’s GameDay, will be the 94th meeting with the Gaels. The Zags own a 64-29 advantage in the series, having won 10 of the previous 12 matchups.

Head coach Mark Few is 38-9 against the Gaels in his career.

This is the fourth time the teams have faced each other while being ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Gonzaga has also faced Saint Mary’s seven times while the Gaels have been ranked. Out of those seven games, SMC holds a 4-3 advantage over the Bulldogs.

The last eight West Coast Conference Tournament titles have been won by either Gonzaga or Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga has won six of the last eight WCC championships, including last season when the Bulldogs beat SMC 85-75 to clinch a berth to the NCAA tournament.

Earlier this season in Spokane, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s played close for the first half, before the Bulldogs pulled away to a 79-56 win on Jan. 14. This was the Kennel’s first game back at the McCarthey Athletic Center following winter break, and the students brought energy to give the Zags plenty of momentum.

The Zags shot 64.7 percent as a team, feeding off the Kennel’s energy, and held Saint Mary’s to a 39.7 shooting percentage. Nigel Williams-Goss led Gonzaga with 19 points.

In Moraga last season, Saint Mary’s edged the Zags 70-67, despite Eric McClellan’s 23 points. The Bulldogs are 21-18 at Saint Mary’s.

Gonzaga won the first meeting between the schools, 86-84 in Moraga on Dec. 23, 1971.

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