Gonzaga point guard Ryan Woolridge rarely has a bad day at the office, but he counts Jan. 4 as one.
Woolridge, who has been a standout defender all season and held star guards Payton Pritchard (Oregon) and Nico Mannion (Arizona) in check, wasn’t at his best at either end of the court against Pepperdine counterpart Colbey Ross.
Ross had 24 points on 9-of-21 shooting and 10 assists as the Waves gave Gonzaga fits in a 75-70 loss. The 6-foot-1 junior has autonomy running the offense.
Ross is a quality scorer and distributor, but he committed a career-high 10 turnovers in the first meeting against the fleet-footed Woolridge, who was scoreless in 29 minutes. Ross also had eight turnovers while scoring 20 points vs. GU in last year’s West Coast Conference Tournament.
It’s an intriguing matchup. Ross is on pace to repeat as an All-WCC first-team selection. Woolridge is a strong candidate for WCC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Zags will devote as much attention as possible to Ross, but they can’t overdo it and open the door for the Edwards brothers, Kameron and Kessler, to have big scoring nights.
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