A Deeper Look: WCC Hoops on Big Monday
by Strike Point Sports - 01/15/2007
This West Coast Conference's spotlight continues on Big Monday tonight. Each week we'll see the ESPN network nationally televise a WCC game. This week it's the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the road at St. Mary's. And for those with ESPNU, Pepperdine hosts San Francisco.
WCC ESPN Showcase
Gonzaga - 12-6 (7-9-1 ATS)
St. Mary's - 9-9 (5-10 ATS)
The Zags continue to do what they do best, beat up the rest of the West Coast Conference. The Bulldogs have opened conference play 3-0 this year, but face a St. Mary's team coming into this game playing better basketball. The Gaels have won three of their last four after opening the season 6-8. They have been awful against the number, covering only one third of their spreads. Just like most of the other teams in the conference, Gonzaga has dominated this match-up, winning nine of the last ten meetings and eight of those victories coming by at least eight points.
St. Mary's strong play at home makes for a potential close game tonight. They have won nine of their 11 games on their own floor, while Gonzaga is just 1-2 away from the Kennel. The Gaels lone win over Gonzaga did come at home back in 2005.
The Zags are coming off a big road conference win over Santa Clara this past Sunday. The Bulldogs knocked off the Broncos by eight, despite shooting 2-for-14 from three-point land. Derek Raivio paced the Zags with 25, and he along with newly inserted sharpshooter Micah Downs will patrol the arc tonight. Downs was a transfer from Kansas who sat out last season and missed the first part of this year with a foot injury. He scored five points in 12 minutes in his return last weekend.
St. Mary's is led by star forward Diamon Simpson. He leads the team with 13 points and seven rebounds a contest. If they stand any chance to upset Gonzaga, his game will need to be on point. As of Monday morning Gonzaga is listed as a 4.5-point favorite and the total is set at 147.
Prediction: Gonzaga 69, St. Mary's 63
WCC Secondary Showcase
San Francisco - 6-11 (7-8 ATS)
Pepperdine - 4-15 (11-6 ATS)
10 p.m. EST
Two of the WCC's struggling programs square off in Malibu tonight when the Waves of Pepperdine play host to the San Francisco Dons. While Pepperdine comes in with the worse record in the standings, they have been quite impressive staying within the number all year. They have covered eleven games already, including last Monday's game in Gonzaga.
This series has gone back-and-forth, each team winning half of the last ten meetings. Pepperdine took three of four between 2004-05, but San Fran won both games to open 2006 last season. The Dons have gone 6-4 ATS during these games.
The Waves come in losers in eight of their last 10 games, including five straight and a 0-3 conference start. Conversely, San Francisco has opened strong 2-0 in WCC play and has covered its last three ball games. They have both combined to go under their posted totals in six of the last seven games.
The Waves continue to play without Jason Walberg, one of their top scorers lost to a knee injury. Prior to that he was scoring over 13 points a night to go with two rebounds and two assists. Marvin Lea still paces the team with 17 points, having scored double digits in nine of his last ten games. However with Walberg's loss, the Waves have struggled some on the offensive end, trying to find ample scoring elsewhere.
San Francisco gets a lot of its production from an array of talent. Antonio Kellogg, Armando Surratt, Alan Wiggins and Mann Quezada all average at least 12 points a game.
Pepperdine is currently 1.5-point home chalk for tonight's game. The posted total is listed at 157.5 but can be found at 157 at some books.
Prediction: Pepperdine 74, San Francisco 71