Pacific Tigers (1-4, 10-6) at Saint Mary’s Gaels (3-2, 13-5)
Date: Saturday, January 18th
Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, Calif.
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Last Season: Saint Mary’s lost to Pacific at the DirectTV classic, but took revenge and routed the Tigers at McKeon Pavilion later in the season.
James Walker III
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Instead of a generic preview, we decided to mix things up here at West Coast Convo. Rather than Josh or George tell you the obvious, I thought it would be interesting to chat with our lead editor about the game. We will slowly implement this template for future articles to get a more opinions in posts.
ST: Pacific has one win. SMC has 2 losses. Initial thoughts on the game.
JH: This is essentially a must win for the Tigers. After beating Santa Clara on Saturday, Pacific has a little bit of momentum and can use that to its advantage. However, the Gaels are always tough to beat at McKeon Pavilion and they have some momentum their selves with a recent win over USF.
ST: I think this game will be very telling. BYU, and GU picked up huge road wins on Thursday, so the Gaels need to keep pace. SMC will be well-rested, have Bennett back and will be playing in a full house against a team they dominated earlier. Every home game, and even every road game is a must win for SMC in order to return to the Big Dance.
JH: What worries you most about the Pacific Tigers?
ST: A bunch of seniors catching fire and making 67% from 3 a la Santa Clara. I am curious to see how SMC plays. I wouldn’t be shocked to see an improved defense tomorrow after a week off. Could be a low scoring game. I would like to see Pacific held under 50 points.
What do you make of Pacific’s slow start?
JH: The Tigers are just struggling to adjust to the WCC. It’s pretty clear that Pacific does not play a game that would adapt well to the WCC. It’s a testament to how good the WCC is if last years Big West Champion that returned many seniors are in last place in the conference.
However, I do think Pacific can play better and get above .500, because they have the talent. But with the hole they have dug, it will be a challenge.
ST: Key matchup for this game that you are looking at:
JH: Andrew Bock versus Stephen Holt. Both have been chomping at the bit for their opportunity to man the helm. However; I think Bock performance is more important to Pacific’s success than Holts is to Saint Mary’s.
ST: I’m looking at big picture: seniors v seniors. Holt finally looked himself against USF. Beau has been having a good year. Who wants it more kind of game. Prediction?
JH:While Pacific is playing better, Saint Mary’s is the superior team, and they are also playing at home. Saint Mary’s wins 75-64.
ST: Saint Mary’s runs away with it, 65-49.