Pepperdine at Gonzaga
Date: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Location: McCarthy Athletic Center, Spokane, Wash.
Time: 6:00 PM PST
TV: Root Sports
Last Matchup: The Zags’ went to Malibu and beat the Waves by a score of 70-53.
Gary Bell Jr.
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After a heart wrenching loss to the Memphis Tigers on Saturday night, the Gonzaga Bulldogs (11-1, 21-4) will return to the friendly confines of the McCarthy Athletic Center with aspirations of jump starting yet another winning streak.
Unfortunately for Gonzaga, the visiting Pepperdine Waves (14-11, 7-6) are no slouches and will give the Bulldogs everything they can handle.
Keys to the Game
There is a reason why Przemek Karnowski frequently pops up as Gonzaga’s key to the game. It is because Karnowski is the most important piece to the puzzle for the Bulldogs this season.
His size in the paint is a distinct advantage, and when he uses it Gonzaga is tough to beat. Karnowski’s ability as a shot blocker and a rim protector is evident, and has drastically improved over the course of the season.
Karnwoski had a solid start to the Memphis game, and ended up finishing with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. However, a hard fall and an embarrassing rejection from the 6’1” Joe Jackson at the rim in the second half put a damper on Karnowski’s otherwise great performance.
The Polish big guy needs to put that behind him, as he has another formidable test ahead of him with Pepperdine’s Brendan Lane and Stacy Davis coming to town.
Make the most out of every possession
The Waves need to come out of each offensive possessive with points more often than not in order to escape the Kennel with a W.
On the season, Pepperdine is averaging 1.08 points each possession, which is tied for 110th in the NCAA. Although this is not awful offensive efficiency from the Waves, they will need more than that to beat the Bulldogs at home tonight.
The last time Pepperdine played Gonzaga, it really was not close and the Bulldogs cruised to a victory. This time I think the Waves give GU a scare this time, but the Zags will eventually end up getting the victory. Gonzaga 81, Pepperdine 72.