St. Mary’s is looking to avenge a humiliating 73-51 loss to Gonzaga on January 2, and our experts agree that the Gaels have a very good chance of securing their 22nd win of the season tonight.
St. Mary’s Offense:
St. Mary’s is averaging 73.2 points per game this season against teams that combine to allow 71.2 points per game. However, the Gaels are significantly better at home where they are averaging 76.3 points per game on 47.8% shooting from the field and 40.5% from beyond the arc. Overall, St. Mary’s is 2.0 points per game better than average offensively, which puts the Gaels at a disadvantage against a Gonzaga defense that is 8.0 points per game better than average (65.7 points per game to teams that combine to average 73.7 points per game).
What makes the Bulldogs even more dangerous is the fact that they are limiting conference opponents to just 62.4 points per game on 39.3% shooting from the floor. Gonzaga possesses a 6.0 points per game advantage on the defensive end of the floor in this game, but that projection does not take into account how efficient St. Mary’s offense is at within the confines of McKeon Pavillion.
St. Mary’s Defense:
The Gaels possess one of the most underrated stop units in college basketball as they are allowing just 65.2 points per game to teams that would combine to average 72.8 points per game. Even more impressive is the fact that the Gaels are limiting opponents to a mere 61.8 points per game at home and 61.0 points over their last five games. Overall, St. Mary’s is 7.6 points per game better than average defensively, which gives the Gaels a 2.5 points per game advantage over a Gonzaga attack that is 5.1 points per game better than average (77.3 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 72.2 points per game).
The technical analysis also favors St. Mary’s as the Bulldogs are a 6-15 ATS on the road following a double-digit win and 0-6 ATS in games with a total between 130 and 134.5 points. Finally, emotions will be running high for six St. Mary’s seniors who will be making their final home appearance inside McKeon Pavillion. “As seniors, we’re going to give it our all, Stephen Holt said. “We only have one more home game left and the underclassmen know that so they’ve just got to keep giving all out energy in the scout and practice and keep trying to make everybody better. I like our mindset. We know it’s a huge game and there’s a lot of distractions but we want to head into Vegas on the right footstep and if we can beat the No. 1 team in our league, that’ll give us a lot of confidence in Vegas.”
Pro Edge Sports Pick: St. Mary’s (-1) (-110)