WCC Men’s Basketball This Week: January 30

WCC Men's Basketball This Week: January 30

California’s South San Francisco -WCC Men’s Basketball in the West Coast Conference is playing its best this week, with four games being televised nationally. The highlight of the week will be Saturday night’s ESPN broadcast of Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga’s first meeting of the season.

Quick Facts 13

Teams in WCC Men’s Basketball

Three teams from the WCC—No. 7 Gonzaga (16.5), No. 12 Saint Mary’s (15.0), and No. 13 San Francisco (14.8)—are among the top 13 teams in the country in terms of scoring margin.

The lowest point total this season against a Division I team was the 28 points that Saint Mary’s gave up on Thursday.

Anton Watson of Gonzaga is the only player in the WCC to have scored thirty points in two different games this season: 32 against Santa Clara and UCLA.

Two teams in the top 31 and three teams in the top 60 round out the WCC’s standings in the most recent NET rankings. San Francisco is ranked No. 58, followed by Gonzaga at No. 31 and Saint Mary’s at No. 21.

The WCC is seventh in the country in assists per game (14.4) and sixth in field goal percentage (.457) among other Division I conferences.The Gaels are on an eight-game winning run and have won 13 of their last 14. They opened Conference play undefeated at 7-0.

The Gaels have been dominant on the boards, leading the country in rebounding margin (12.2), and they are now ranked No. 2 in the country in terms of scoring defense (57.5 ppg). This week, Santa Clara (8 p.m. on ESPNU) and Gonzaga (7 p.m. on ESPN)—the two teams tied for second place going into the week—will be Saint Mary’s two stiff challenges.

In terms of scoring offense, Gonzaga leads the WCC (85.0 ppg), and it is ranked 14th in the US. Rebounding like Saint Mary’s, the Bulldogs rank No. 14 in the country in terms of rebounding margin (9.1). With 6.1 assists per game, Ryan Nembhard leads the WCC and is tied for 17th in the US.

Before playing Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Gonzaga plays LMU tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN. Jonathan Mogbo of San Francisco has been playing exceptionally well this season; he is third in the country in field goal percentage (.676). In addition, he has tallied up 10 double-doubles this season, enough for a tie for 12th in the country.

Additionally, with 10.6 rebounds per game, he is seventh in the country. Eight of the previous nine games have seen him grab at least ten rebounds; on Saturday against Portland, he recorded his tenth double-double with twelve rebounds and fifteen points. Last week, Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine 94-71 to win its third consecutive game.

Third in the WCC in scoring (76.7 ppg) are the Broncos. With 15.5 points per game, Adama-Alpha Bal leads the Broncos in scoring and is good for third in the league. Bal scored 23 points in the victory over the Waves, which makes it his sixth 20-point game of the year. LMU goes to Gonzaga tonight looking for their second consecutive win.

LMU interrupted the Zags’ 75-game home winning streak last season. The Lions tested Saint Mary’s last Saturday in Moraga, a game that featured thirteen lead changes before being decided in the last minutes.

Prior to the game against the Gaels, Portland suffered a 92-65 loss at the hands of the Lions. In the win, three Lions scored twenty points or more, with Alex Merkviladze leading the way with twenty-five points and ten rebounds.

This week, San Diego is still on the road, traveling to the Bay Area to play Santa Clara on Saturday and San Francisco on Thursday. Last week, the Toreros won two games in a row on the road: Tuesday against Portland and Saturday against Pepperdine, when Wayne McKinney III of the Toreros scored a buzzer beater to seal the victory.

On Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network, USD attempts to win three straight games away from home against the Dons. Portland’s Tyler Robertson is averaging a league-high 20 points per game in his previous four games. This season, he has scored ten goals or more in each game.

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