MBB and Saint Mary's Clash in Top-15 Battle

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Feb. 9, 2018

No. 12/11 Gonzaga (22-4, 12-1) at No. 11/12 Saint Mary's (24-2, 13-0)
SATURDAY, FEB. 9 | 7 P.M. | MORAGA, CALIF. | McKEON PAVILION
TV: ESPN2
LIVE VIDEO:  Watch ESPN
RADIO:  Gonzaga IMG Radio Network
SIRIUS XM: Channel 84
LIVE STATS: Gametracker
 
ABOUT THE SERIES
- This is the 97th all-time meeting between Gonzaga and SMC.
- GU leads the series 66-30, winning 12 of the last 15 meetings, and is 40-10 against SMC under Mark Few.
- The Zags are 22-18 all-time at Saint Mary's.
- In last season's meeting in Moraga on Feb. 11, GU won 74-64. Johnathan Williams scored 17 points and Silas Melson added 12 points.
- Saint Mary's escaped Spokane with a 74-71 win in the first meeting this season on Jan. 18. The Gaels shot 56.6 percent, while GU was 47.5 percent. Rui Hachimura came off the bench to score 23 points.
- Gonzaga is 29-10 all-time at home against SMC. GU is 12-3 in the meetings in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Zags won the first all-time meeting between the programs, 86-84, in Moraga on Dec. 23, 1971.
- Saturday's matchup is the first game ever between West Coast Conference opponents ranked in the top 15.
 
THE BEST IN THE WEST
- Gonzaga and Saint Mary's have finished in the top two of the West Coast Conference standings in eight of the past nine seasons, and 11 of the last 13 seasons. (Saint Mary's fourth in 2013-14 and third in 2006-07)
- The last 16 regular season titles have been won or shared by Gonzaga or Saint Mary's. The Zags have won or shared 15, while SMC has won or shared two.
- The last nine West Coast Conference Tournament titles have been won by either Gonzaga or Saint Mary's. The Zags have won seven of the nine titles.
- The Zags are 14-3 against SMC in the West Coast Conference Tournament. GU has won the last four meetings in the WCC Tournament. The teams have met in the event eight of the past nine years.
 
SCOUTING THE GAELS  
- Saint Mary's rides a nation's best 19-game win streak into Saturday's game after an 83-62 win at LMU.
- The Gaels shot 64 percent from the field and made 20 assists on 32 made field goals.
- Jock Landale led SMC with 21 points and nine rebounds. He made 8-of-11 from the field. Jordan Ford scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and Emmett Naar dished out 12 assists to two turnovers.
- Saint Mary's enters the game with its highest Associated Press ranking in program history at No. 11.
- The Gaels top the NCAA in field goal percentage (52.8), are second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75), sixth in turnovers per game (9.8), sixth in assists (445), sixth in three-point field goal percentage (42.1), eighth in scoring margin (15.0), and 16th in free-throw percentage (77.0).
- Landale leads the nation with 237 made field goal attempts and Naar tops the country with 237 assists. Naar is also second in the NCAA dishing out 9.1 assists per game and became the SMC's all-time assist leader (769) Thursday.
- Landale is fourth in the nation in double-doubles (16), seventh in total points (590), eighth in rebounds (279), 10th in field goal percentage (66.0) and points per game (22.7), and 13th in rebounds per game (10.7).
- Calvin Hermanson and Naar are adding 11.5 and 10.6 points per game.
 
FAMILIAR FOE
- Johnathan Williams faced Saint Mary's four times in the past two seasons and totaled 55 points on 25-of-40 shooting from the field. He also grabbed a total of 27 rebounds. In the game in Spokane earlier this season, Williams scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
- Josh Perkins started all seven games in his career against Saint Mary's. He has 63 career points versus the Gaels on 23-of-58 shooting, with 23 assists. As a redshirt freshman, he scored a game-high 21 points, with three three-pointers in Spokane on Feb. 20, 2016.
 
LIFE ON THE ROAD
- The Bulldogs have won 21 straight WCC games on the road, the longest active streak in the country. GU's last loss to a West Coast Conference opponent on the road was at Saint Mary's, 70-67, on Jan. 21, 2016.
- The Zags have won 34 of their last 35 road games in conference play. If you include the West Coast Conference Tournament, the Bulldogs have won 43 of their last 44 road or neutral league contests. Since 2014-15, GU is 32-1 in WCC road games.
- Since the 2005-06 season, Gonzaga is 188-62 in road or neutral games.
- The Zags' 74.9-win percentage in road or neutral games tops the nation over that span.
- Also since the 2007-08 season, the Zags are 87-24 in true road games.
- GU's 77.7-win pct. in true road games is best in the nation over that span.
 
FINISHING STRONG
- In its last four games, Gonzaga has gone 26-of-27 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes. The Bulldogs are 23-of-23 from the line in the last three minutes and 19-for-19 in the last two minutes.
- GU made its last 15 free-throws in the win at Pacific, including 10-for-10 in the last minute, finishing the game 21-of-25.
-In the final three minutes of the last four games, the Zags are outscoring their competition 37-23, while limiting their opponent to 5-of-18 shooting from the field.
- In the final two minutes of the last four games, GU is outscoring opponents 28-12, and holding teams to 4-of-15 shooting.
 
WILLIAMS HITS MILESTONE
- Johnathan Williams needed 10 rebounds at Pacific to reach 900 in his career, he finished with 13.
- Earlier this season he eclipsed 1,000 points in his career. Williams is currently at 1,333 points.
- Only three Zags have 1,000 points and 900 rebounds in their careers; Jerry Vermillon, Gary Lechman and Elia Harris.
- Williams has 140 blocked shots in his career; 76 at Missouri and 64 at Gonzaga.
 
WILLIAMS NAMED A SENIOR CLASS FINALIST
- Johnathan Williams was named one of 10 finalists for the 2017-18 Senior CLASS Award.
- Ten men's basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as finalists for the award.
- To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be classified as NCAA Division I seniors and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
- The finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in January.
- Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to submit votes online at the Senior CLASS Award website through March 19.
- The Senior CLASS Award recipients will be announced during the 2018 NCAA Men's Final Four.
- Przemek Karnowski was named a Senior CLASS All-American last season.

 

 

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