MBB Meets No. 4/4 Villanova in New York City
Dec. 4, 2017
No. 12/13 Gonzaga (7-1) vs. No. 4/4 Villanova (8-0)
TUESDAY, DEC. 5 | 4 P.M. PT | NEW YORK CITY | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
RADIO: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network
LIVE VIDEO: Watch ESPN
LIVE STATS: Gametracker
ABOUT THE SERIES
- This is the first-time ever meeting between Gonzaga and Villanova.
- Entering this season, both teams had claimed 129 victories in the four-year span of 2013-17.
- Since the 2014-15 season, the Wildcats (108) and GU (107) are first and second in the nation for most wins.
- Gonzaga is 14-16 all-time versus current members of the Big East.
- Under Mark Few, the Bulldogs are 12-3 against current Big East competition.
- In its last game, GU beat fellow Big East member No. 25/23 Creighton, 91-74, Friday in Spokane. The Zags beat Xavier, another Big East member, in last season's Elite Eight to advance to the program's first Final Four.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
- The 2016 national champions are off to an unbeaten start following a 94-53 rout win at St. Joseph's Saturday.
- Villanova made a school-record 19 three-pointers in the win and used a 27-2 run late in the first half to ease away.
- The Wildcats made 10 shots in a row from behind-the-arc at one point in the game.
- Mikal Bridges had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Phil Booth added 17 points, and a career high eight rebounds and six assists. Omari Spellman posted his second career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
- Saint Joseph's connected on just 21-of-64 field goal attempts (.328) and were 5-of-24 from beyond the 3-point arc (. 208). VU also won the battle of the boards convincingly (49-28).
- Five Wildcats are averaging double-digit scoring led by Bridges and Jalen Brunson, who are both scoring 17.9 points per game. Don DiVincenzo (11.4), Booth (11.1) and Eric Paschall (10.4 ppg) are also double-digit scorers.
- Spellman is right behind at 9 points per game, chipping in a team-high 7.4 rebounds per outing.
- Brunson has dished out a team-best 36 assists this season, an average of 4.5 per game, to just nine turnovers.
- The Wildcats have won their first eight games by an average of 24.8 points, including the last two by 34.5 points.
- Gonzaga will be Villanova's first ranked opponent this season. The Wildcats won the Battle 4 Atlantis with wins over Western Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Iowa.
GONZAGA IN THE GARDEN
- The Zags return to Madison Square Garden for the sixth time.
- GU has won three of its seven games all-time in MSG.
- The Bulldogs won the 2014 Preseason NIT in their last appearance in the Madison Square Garden, defeating Georgia and St. John's on Nov. 26 and 28.
- Gonzaga made its MSG debut with a 73-66 setback to St. Joseph's in the 2003 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. It was the Zags' season-opener and Adam Morrison's first game in a GU uniform.
- The Bulldogs have played in the Jimmy V Classic once before, a 69-60 win over No. 25 North Carolina State, in East Rutherford, N.J., on Dec. 17, 2002.
OH MY GOSH JOSH
- Josh Perkins is 12th in the nation with 29 made three-pointers and 17th at 3.63 three-pointers made per game.
- Both of those stats lead the West Coast Conference.
- He also tops the WCC in three-point percentage at 54.7 percent, which is 13th in the NCAA.
ZAGS WIN TOP-25 CLASH IN THE KENNEL
- Gonzaga picked up a big 91-74 win over No. 25/23 Creighton Friday in Spokane.
- The Bluejays led for the entire first half, and 44-37 at halftime, before the Zags shot 62 percent from the field in the second half and used an 18-2 run to pull away.
- Four Bulldogs scored double-figures, including three 20-point scorers, led by Killian Tillie's game-high 22 points.
- Silas Melson finished with a career-high 21 points, after scoring 16 in the first half. He hit 4-of-5 from three-point range.
NORVELL JR. NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- Zach Norvell Jr. was selected as the West Coast Conference Player of the Week Monday.
- Norvell Jr. totaled 38 points in a pair of wins for No. 15/14 Gonzaga last week. He made 14 of his 23 shots from the field (60.9 percent), including 6-of-15 (40 percent) from behind-the-arc.
- The redshirt freshman grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists as well.
- Norvell Jr. scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five assists against Incarnate Word. He also had four rebounds and made two steals.
- Against No. 25/23 Creighton, Norvell Jr. tallied a career-high 21 points, all in the second half. He made four of his 10 three-pointers, with six boards and three assists.
- Norvell, Jr. is one of six Zags averaging double-digit scoring at 10 points per game. He's shooting 46.9 percent from the field and has 22 assists this season.
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