BYU Cougars (17-10, 8-5) at Saint Mary’s Gaels (19-7, 8-4)
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, Calif.
Time: 5:00 pm PST
Last Matchup: BYU defeated Saint Mary’s 84-71 in Provo.
James Walker III
While Gonzaga may be running away with the WCC regular season title, Saturday night in Moraga will be one of the most important games of the conference yet. Saint Mary’s (9-4) and BYU (9-5) find themselves in a battle for second place with both teams needing a high RPI win.
Saint Mary’s comes off a 69-57 home win over San Diego, where the Gaels used a second half surge to avenge an earlier loss to the Toreros. Guard James Walker led all scorers and set a career high with 21 points and helped led a balance attack where the Gaels shot 51% from the field.
BYU on the other hand is coming off a surprising 82-89 loss at Pacific despite getting 28 points from Matt Carlino and 20 from Tyler Haws. The Cougars allowed Pacific to shoot 52% in comparison to 44% for BYU.
Saturday nights matchup will feature the Gaels who have won three straight after losing to BYU 71-84 just two weeks ago. Haws had 23 points in that game to lead the Cougars while as a team Saint Mary’s shot a mere 40% from the field. It was the first win over the Gaels for BYU since they had joined the WCC.
The key matchup of the game will be the guard defense for Saint Mary’s who allowed 67 of BYU’s 84 points to come from their backcourt in the first game.
Before the game, Saint Mary’s will honor former Gael Matthew Dellavedova and retire his No. 4. He will be the second player in Saint Mary’s history to have his number retired.