Pacific (9-4, 0-2) at Gonzaga (13-2, 3-0)
Date: Saturday, January 4th, 2014
Location: McCarthy Athletic Center, Spokane, WA
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST
TV: RootSports NW, RootSports RM, KHQ (Spokane), theW.tv
LiveStats: ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, etc.
Last Season: Gonzaga beat Pacific at the McCarthy Athletic Center 85-67.
David Stockton, 7.3 PPG, 4.5 APG
Kevin Pangos, 17.5 PPG, 4.2 APG
Kyle Dranginis, 6.9 PPG
Przemek Karnowski, 10.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG
Andrew Bock, 11.8 PPG
Sama Taku, 12.4 PPG
Trevin Harris, 5.6 PPG
Tony Gill, 10.4 PPG
Khalil Kelley, 8.1 PPG
The not-so-warm welcome to the West Coast Conference could get ice cold for the Pacific Tigers (9-4, 0-2) tomorrow night when they take on the first place Gonzaga Bulldogs (13-2, 3-0) in “the Kennel.”
Keys to the Game
Take Advantage of No Students: With the students on campus, the McCarthy Athletic Center is one of the most electric atmospheres in the country. However, in this case, all the students are on break, and the ambiance of the Kennel will not be the same.
Pacific needs to take advantage of this, get out to an early lead and put pressure on a Gonzaga team without its normal crowd.
Angel Nunez: It is easy to see where the hype around Nunez comes from after watching the Zags last game against Saint Mary’s. He showed his skills as an explosive offensive weapon and portrayed himself as a more than capable defender and rebounder.
The Pacific posts can likely matchup with the other Gonzaga bigs, but Nunez is the exception. The Tigers will have trouble matching up with athleticism and Nunez could have another breakout game.
Matchup of the Game
The Benches: Both Gonzaga and Pacific rely on their benches quite a bit for a scoring punch. The Tigers will bring on big man Ross Rivera, freshman point guard T.J. Wallace, and Aaron Short to do that. Gonzaga on the hand will go to transfers Angel Nunez and Gerard Coleman, as well as three-point specialist Drew Barham (assuming that Dower is inserted back in the starting lineup).
It will be interesting to see which squad gets the bigger contribution from its bench. It could be the difference in the game.
Pacific seems to have lost a lot of its mojo that it had at the beginning of the season. Last game, Portland – especially its big men – overwhelmed Pacific and countered each and every run that the Tigers tried to assemble. Gonzaga on the other end played the best game of its season yesterday against Saint Mary’s.
Long story short, Gonzaga will be too much for the Tigers, especially at home. Gonzaga 83, Pacific 69.