Top-ranked MBB Ready for Clash with No. 20 Gaels

Feb. 10, 2017

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#1/1 Gonzaga (25-0, 13-0) at #20/20 Saint Mary’s (22-2, 12-1)
SATURDAY, FEB. 11, 2017 | 5:15 PM | MORAGA, CA | McKEON PAVILION
TELEVISION: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor)
LIVE VIDEO: WatchESPN
LIVE STATS: GoZags.com
 
ABOUT THE SERIES
- This is the 94th all-time meeting between Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.
- GU leads the series 64-29 and has won 10 of the last 12 meetings. The Bulldogs are 38-9 against SMC under Mark Few.
- The last eight WCC Tournament titles have been won by either Gonzaga or Saint Mary’s. GU has six of the eight titles.
- Gonzaga pulled away from the Gaels in the most recent meeting, 79-56, on Jan. 14, in Spokane.
- Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points and had six assists. Gonzaga shot 64.7 percent, while holding SMC to 39.7 percent.
- In last season’s meeting in Moraga, the Gaels escaped with a 70-67 win. Eric McClellan scored 23 points for the Zags.
- The Bulldogs are 21-18 all-time at Saint Mary’s.
- Gonzaga won the first all-time meeting between the programs, 86-84, in Moraga on Dec. 23, 1971.
- This is only the fourth meeting in the series history that both teams are ranked inside the Associated Press Top 25.
- The Zags have faced Saint Mary’s seven times when the Gaels were ranked, and SMC has a 4-3 edge in those contests.
 
ABOUT SAINT MARY’S
- Saint Mary’s rides into the clash with Gonzaga on a seven-game win streak, including a 51-41 win over Portland Thursday. The Gaels made 30.6 percent from the field, but held Portland to 33 percent shooting.
- Jock Landale scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Emmett Naar and Joe Rahon added 11 and 10 points.
- Landale leads SMC with 16.7 points (4th, WCC) and 9.5 rebounds (1st, WCC) per game. He is shooting 60 percent from the field, which ranks fourth in the West Coast Conference.
- Hermanson adds 12.8 points per game, and Emmett Naar chips in 10.1 points per contest.
- Naar ranks second in the WCC averaging 5.5 assists per game, but teammate Joe Rahon tops the WCC at 5.8 (19th in NCAA). Rahon is sixth in the nation with a 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio and eighth at 36:50 minutes per game.
- Saint Mary’s is second in the country limiting opponents to 55.9 points per game.
- The Gaels are first in the WCC in scoring defense, rebound-margin (10.1, fourth in NCAA), free-throw percentage (76.2, 23rd in NCAA) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6, fourth in NCAA). SMC’s 10.5 turnovers per game rank 11th in the nation.
 
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE
- Gonzaga is the only unbeaten team left in NCAA Div. I.
- The Zags are one of five teams in the country that are undefeated in conference play.
- Three other teams at the NCAA level (2 in Div. II, 1 in Div. III) are also undefeated, but none of those teams have 25 wins.
 
THE HOT START
- GU is off to the best start in program history. The 1944 Zags started 11-0, before finishing 21-2.
- This is the first time that the Zags have gone unbeaten in non-conference play since joining the NCAA in 1958.
- In 2012-13, the Bulldogs won their first nine games before falling to Illinois.
 
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
- Gonzaga’s current 25-game win streak is the longest in the nation.
- The streak is now the longest in program history. The 2014-15 Zags won 22 straight games.
- The Bulldogs’ 18 straight conference wins is the longest streak in the country.
- GU has won nine straight games on the road, which is tied for second in the nation.
 
SAINT MARY’S GAME TIME MOVED UP
- Gonzaga’s road game against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 11, has been moved up from 7 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
- The game will now be on ESPN and not ESPN2.
- The game will also be available on the Gonzaga IMG Radio Network.
 
GAMEDAY HEADED TO MORAGA
- Gonzaga will be a part of ESPN’s College GameDay for the fifth time, when the Zags visit Saint Mary’s Saturday.
- The Bulldogs’ game with the Gaels from the McKeon Pavilion will be the showcase event for College GameDay Covered by State Farm, which begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Time.
- ESPN’s Saturday Primetime presented by AT&T begins with an evening show leading into the game televised at 5 p.m.
- College GameDay Covered by State Farm is hosted by Rece Davis, who is joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams. Bilas will join Dan Shulman and reporter Maria Taylor on the call of the game.
- In the show’s 13th season, this will be the first matchup between two West Coast Conference members.
- The Bulldogs first hosted Gameday on Feb. 11, 2006. Gonzaga beat Stanford, 80-76, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- In the most recent GU showing on Gameday, the No. 23 Bulldogs were edged at No. 24 Memphis, 60-54, on Feb. 14, 2014.
 
MAKE THAT TEN STRAIGHT
- Gonzaga’s win at LMU clinched the Bulldogs their 10th consecutive 25-win season.
- The Zags have now reached the 25-win plateau in 13 of the last 14 seasons, and 17 of the last 19.
- GU grabbed its 20th straight 20-win season at Portland.
- The Bulldogs have reached the 20-win plateau in each of the last 19 seasons.
- Prior to the last 19 seasons, Gonzaga reached 20 wins in a season eight times since 1907-08.
 
TOP DOGS
- Gonzaga remained No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the Associated Press Top 25 Monday.
- The Zags received 59 of the 65 first-place votes in the AP poll, and 28 of the 32 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll.
- The 2012-13 Bulldogs reached the No. 1 spot at the end of the regular season, just ahead of the WCC Tournament.
- Gonzaga opened this season at No. 13 in the coaches’ poll and 14th in the AP poll.
 
IT PAYS TO BE THE BOSS
- Nigel Williams-Goss recorded his seventh career double-double at Loyola Marymount Thursday.
- His 19-point, 11-rebound performance was his third double-double of the season, and all have been on the road.
- Against teams ranked inside the top-100 in KenPom’s ratings, Williams-Goss has averaged 21.4 points per game, compared to just over 13 points per game in the other outings. His three-point percentage also rose from 28 percent to 50 percent against the higher caliber opponents.
 
WILLIAMS-GOSS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
- Nigel Williams-Goss was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 Team.
- The CoSIDA Academic All-District teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances both athletically and in the classroom.
- First team Academic All-District honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot where First, Second and Third-team All-America honors will be selected later this month.
- In the classroom, Williams-Goss boasts a 3.84 grade-point average. He recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology. The Happy Valley, Ore. native, is now working on his master’s degree.
 
WILLIAMS-GOSS NAMED TO NAISMITH TOP 30 LIST
- Nigel Williams-Goss was named to the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year Top 30 List.
- The Atlanta Tipoff Club released the midseason list Thursday.
- Ten semifinalists will be announced March 1, 2017.
 
WILLIAMS-GOSS NAMED TO WOODEN LATE SEASON LIST
- Nigel Williams-Goss was named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list.
- The award is presented to the nation’s most outstanding basketball player.
- Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the midseason list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
- Fifteen top players will be submitted to voters on the Final Ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament.
- The award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on April 7.
 
KARNOWSKI SETS A NEW RECORD
- After the win at BYU, Przemek Karnowski is now the program’s all-time leader in victories.
- The redshirt senior passed Kyle Dranginis and Kevin Pangos with 122 wins in their GU careers.
- Karnowski owns a 125-13 (.906) career record at GU. Dranginis was 122-21, while Pangos was 122-20.
- Karnowski is currently leading the nation for most games played by active Div. I players at 138.
 
STAYING OUT IN FRONT
- The Zags had their streak of 13 straight halves without trailing their opponent, a total span of the last 266 minutes and 36 seconds, come to an end early in the game versus Santa Clara.
- During the streak that lasted six games, four of the games were road contests.
- Gonzaga has trailed for 31:12 of the total 520 minutes of conference play so far.
- Through the whole season, the Bulldogs have trailed for 64:44 of the 1,000 total minutes, roughly 6.4 percent of the time.
- The Zags have played from behind for only 11:41 during the nine games so far in 2017.
- GU has trailed for six minutes and two seconds total in the second half in WCC play, all at Pacific. In fact, the Bulldogs have only been behind twice this season in the second half, versus Florida (latest with 9:49 left) and at Pacific (latest at 11:51).
 
EFFICIENT BIG MEN
- Przemek Karnowski and Johnathan Williams have been efficient around the basket in WCC play.
- The duo has a combined 65.8 field goal percentage (121-of-184) through the 13 WCC games.
- So far in WCC action, Karnowski leads the league with a 68.3 field goal percentage (69-of-101), while Williams is second at 62.7 percent (52-of-83). Zach Collins is third at .595 (44-of-74). The trio combine for 65.8 percent from the field.
- Zach Collins leads the conference with an overall .659 field goal percentage this season, while Karnowski (.610) and Williams (.604) are second and third.
 
BALANCING ACT
- Six Zags are averaging at least 9.1 points per game. The top seven scorers on the team are averaging between 8.1 and 15.8 points.
- Gonzaga is the highest scoring team in the conference averaging 85.6 points a game, despite not having a player rank any higher than seventh among the conference scoring leaders. No player has led the Zags solely in scoring in back-to-back games this season.
- Seven different players have led GU in scoring in a game this season. Six different players have led in rebounds.
 
ZAGS WITH DEFENSIVE SWAG
- Gonzaga ranks second in the country holding opponents to 37 percent shooting from the field. On offense, the Zags are third in the nation shooting 51.4 percent from the field.
- Seven Bulldog opponents have shot over 40 percent from the field this season. San Francisco’s 46.9 percent shooting from the field was a season-high for a GU opponent. The Zags have outshot all 25 opponents from the field this season.
- GU leads the West Coast Conference in steals per game (7.4) and total steals (185).
- The Bulldogs are second in the WCC with 110 total blocks and averaging 4.4 blocks per game.
 
DOMINATING FASHION
- The Zags top the nation beating opponents by an average of 23.9 points. They are winning conference games by a 27.3-point margin.
- GU has won 17 straight games by double-digits. Gonzaga’s 13 consecutive double-digit WCC wins ties the second-longest streak of conference wins by at least 10 points over the past 20 seasons.
- The Bulldogs have won 17 games by 20 points or more, and 10 games by 30 or more. Gonzaga has been in only three single-digit decisions.
 
MORE HIGH NATIONAL RANKINGS
- GU is pulling down 30.2 defensive rebounds per game, which ranks fourth in the country.
- The Bulldogs are ninth in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.5.
- Gonzaga ranks first in the WCC in scoring offense (85.6, 12th in NCAA) and second in scoring defense (61.6, eighth in NCAA).
- GU tops the WCC in scoring offense, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense, scoring margin, assists, steals and turnover margin.
- The Zags top the KenPom ratings, they rank third nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency (122.1) and fourth in adjusted defensive (88.3) efficiency.

 

 

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