Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs St. Mary's Gaels Prediction, 3/17/2021 College Basketball Pick, Tips and Odds
Game: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs St. Mary's Gaels
Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Location: Comerica Center in Frisco, TX
Odds/Point Spread: Western Kentucky (+1.5)
Comerica Center is the venue where and the St. Mary's Gaels (14-9) will take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (20-7) on Wednesday in the NIT. The spread on this game has St. Mary's as 1.5-point favorites. The over/under opens at 125.
Western Kentucky enters this matchup with a mark of 20-7 for the year. They turn it over 14.9 times per contest and as a basketball team they are committing 14.2 personal fouls on a nightly basis. As a team, Western Kentucky is pulling in 37.9 boards per game and is sitting with 359 assists for the season, which is 84th in Division 1 in terms of passing. The Hilltoppers are shooting 34.5% from downtown (171 of 496) and 79.0% from the free throw line. They average 73.1 points per contest (124th in Division 1) while going 45.3% from the field. When they are on defense, the Hilltoppers are forcing 13.3 turnovers every game and they draw 17.9 fouls. The Hilltoppers defense is giving up an opponent shooting percentage of 41.9% (672 of 1,605) and they concede 31.0 boards per game as a basketball team. They are currently ranked 228th in D-1 in giving up assists with 328 surrendered for the season. They are conceding 35.8% on 3-point shots and they rank 106th in college hoops in opponents points per game (67.9).
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers faced the North Texas Mean Green and ended up losing by a score of 61-57 in their last game. Western Kentucky ended the contest with a 34.0% FG percentage (17 out of 50) and made 6 of their 22 shots from distance. From the free throw line, the Hilltoppers made 17 of their 20 attempts for a percentage of 85.0%. In regard to grabbing rebounds, they earned a total of 27 with 7 of them being of the offensive sort. They also recorded 11 assists for the game in addition to forcing the opposition into 14 turnovers and getting 6 steals. In regard to defense, Western Kentucky allowed 39.3% from the floor on 22 out of 56 shooting. North Texas dished out 12 dimes and had 4 steals in the game. In addition, North Texas had 33 rebounds (8 offensive, 25 defensive) and earned 4 blocks. North Texas finished the game at 90.0% when shooting free throws by making 9 of their 10 shots. They also converted 8 out of their 22 attempts from three-point range.
Josh Anderson is one player who came through for the matchup. He accounted for 14 points on 3 of 5 shooting. He saw the court for 37 minutes and also collected 4 boards. Anderson shot 60.0% from the field and also distributed 2 dimes. Another guy that was a major contributor in the game for the Hilltoppers was Charles Bassey. He grabbed 11 rebounds in his 42 minutes on the hardwood. He ended up going 25.0% from the field for the matchup by going 3-of-12 (13 points). When the time ran out, Bassey totaled 2 assists.
St. Mary's has a win-loss record of 14-9 on the campaign. The Gaels commit 16.8 fouls per game and they connect on 72.9% from the free throw line. Their rate of earning assists is at 10.5 times per contest (332nd in the country) and they lose possession via turnover 11.3 times per contest. St. Mary's has accumulated 1,475 pts on the year (64.1 per contest) and they collect 34.4 rebounds per contest. As an offensive unit, the Gaels are shooting 42.1% from the floor, which ranks them 280th in the nation. The Gaels on defense are ranked 18th in college hoops in points per game surrendered with 62.3. They are forcing 12.4 turnovers per game and have allowed teams to shoot 42.9% from the floor (158th in the nation). The St. Mary's defense concedes 34.8% on 3-point attempts (119 of 342) and opponents are making 72.2% of their shots from the charity stripe. They have conceded 8.6 dimes and 31.8 rebounds per game, which is 1st and 41st in those categories on the defensive end.
When they last stepped on the court, the St. Mary's Gaels walked away from this one with a loss by a score of 78-55 when they faced the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Gaels recorded 23 defensive boards and 7 offensive rebounds for a total of 30 in the matchup. They also turned the ball over 12 times, while earning 6 steals in this game. The Bulldogs had 16 fouls for the game which took the Gaels to the free throw line for 12 attempts. They were able to knock down 9 of the free throw attempts for a clip of 75.0%. Pertaining to shots from beyond the arc, St. Mary's buried 2 out of their 20 attempts (10.0%). When the final whistle was blown, the Gaels shot 22 for 61 from the field which gave them a rate of 36.1%. The Gaels permitted the Bulldogs to make 33 out of their 62 tries from the floor which left them with a shooting percentage of 53.2% in the game. They finished 33.3% from downtown by connecting on 5 out of 15 and finished the game at 7 out of 11 at the free throw line (63.6%). Regarding team rebounding, St. Mary's allowed Gonzaga to collect 41 overall (8 offensive).
Logan Johnson ended up having an impact for the Gaels in the game. He made 4 of 17 for this contest for a rate of 23.5%, and added 4 rebounds. Johnson recorded 15 points in his 32 minutes on the court and tallied 1 assist for this game. An additional guy who came through for St. Mary's was Tommy Kuhse. He walked away with 3 assists in his 34 mins on the hardwood, and he put in 6 of 14 from the floor. Kuhse wrapped this one up going 42.9% from the floor and also contributing 13 points and 3 boards.
Who will win tonight's college basketball game against the spread?
Guy Bruhn's Pick: Take St. Mary's (-1.5)
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