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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga-Pepperdine key matchup: Quality point guards Colbey Ross, Ryan Woolridge collide

Jan. 3, 2020 Updated Fri., Jan. 3, 2020 at 7:19 p.m.

Two of the best point guards on the West Coast tangle Saturday at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross, a first-team, All-WCC selection last year, and grad transfer Ryan Woolridge, who continues to come up big when Gonzaga needs it most, is a must-watch matchup.

Ross has been stellar in Pepperdine’s biggest nonconference games. The 6-foot-1 junior scored 38 points against USC, posted 20 points and nine assists in a narrow loss to Arizona and dropped 29 points on Providence.

Ross scored 20 points, but committed eight turnovers, against the Zags in the WCC Tournament last March. He’s effective from distance (39% career on 3s, but just 33.3% this season) and with dribble penetration. He gets to the free-throw line an average of 6.1 times per game, and he’s hit 86% in 81 career games.

Woolridge is Gonzaga’s best defender. He’s met the challenge of defending standout point guards all season, so this is familiar territory for the 6-3 senior. One of Woolridge’s underrated strengths is making star guards work on defense, particularly when he gets out in transition. Woolridge and Ross are used to logging extended minutes.

The Zags will need to be attentive, especially when Ross penetrates, because the Waves have better finishing options with the Edwards brothers, forwards Kessler and Kameron, than what Gonzaga faced in Thursday’s win over Portland.

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