Travel partners Pacific and Saint Mary’s will meet up in Moraga for their second matchup of the season.
Pacific Tigers (10-13, 2-9) @ Saint Mary’s Gaels (17-5, 9-2)
Date: Saturday, February 7
Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, California
Time: 7:00 PM PT
Live Stats: CBS Sports GameTracker
Aaron Bright (10.6 PPG)
Kerry Carter (12.3 PPG)
Garrett Jackson (7.6 PPG)
Desmond Simmons (5.5 PPG)
Brad Waldow (20.1 PPG)
T.J. Wallace (13.4 PPG)
Dulani Robinson (10.0 PPG)
Alec Kobre (7.0 PPG)
Eric Thompson (8.3 PPG)
Gabriel Aguirre (7.6 PPG)
What’s new with the Gaels?
Sitting in second place with a 9-2 record, the Gaels are in good shape to enter the WCC tournament as the No. 2 seed. However, they need to take care of business so future matchups versus BYU and Saint Mary’s put the Gaels in jepordy or dropping in the standings.
Winning against last place Pacific is a must for the Gaels, who are undefeated against the Tigers since they joined the WCC last season. Earlier this year, the Gaels escape Stockton with a 7 point (54-47) victory over the young Tigers squad. SMC center Brad Waldow recorded a double-double with 21 points and 11 boards in the win.
The Tigers defended the 3-point line against the Gaels in their prior matchup, allowing SMC to shoot only 25 percent from downtown. In particular, Aaron Bright, Desmond Simmons and Garrett Jackson were 0-11 in the narrow victory. If the Gaels have a similar performance tonight, the Tigers can hang around and pull off the upset. The Gaels must hit their shots.
Pacific center Sami Eleraky has not played in the team’s last four games, and Pacific has rode a four game losing streak since losing the Danish center to a knee injury. Without the 7-foot-1 rim protector in the paint, Brad Waldow will have a much easier time performing his multitude of post moves on the block. Expect Waldow to get the ball early and often for the Gaels.
What’s New With the Gaels (Written by Robert Perry)
When Ron Verlin took over as head coach of Pacific, he had big shoes to fill. Now in his second season as head coach, Verlin and his staff are in full rebuilding mode.
Pacific (10-13, 2-9 WCC) is dead last in the West Coast Conference. The Tigers have lost seven of their last eight games, including four in a row.
Despite their lack of success, Pacific held St. Mary’s to their second-lowest scoring output of the season in a 54-47 loss to the Gaels January 10th. If Pacific has any hopes of upsetting the Gaels, they will need to rely on their defense to get it done.
While defense is a major piece of the puzzle, Pacific will have to find ways to score. T.J. Wallace and Dulani Robinson average double figures for the Tigers, so look for them to have a big night for the upset-hungry Tigers.
What to Look For?
- Brad Waldow versus the Pacific Big Men: will the SMC superstar be too overwhelming for the Tiger’s big’s?
- Can T.J. Wallace get his shots? Pacific’s best player needs to score in bunches in order for the Tigers to keep up with the Gaels.