WCC foes will collide when the Saint Mary’s Gaels (15-3, 2-1 WCC) square off with the Santa Clara Broncos (14-3, 1-1 WCC) at University Credit Union Pavilion. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 11, 2020, and it can be seen on ESPNU.
Santa Clara Broncos at Saint Mary’s Gaels Free Preview
The last time the Broncos played, they lost big to the San Francisco Dons, 80-61. With 21 points on 6-for-13 shooting, DJ Mitchell led Santa Clara in scoring. San Francisco had an offensive rebounding percentage of 41.4 (above their season average of 31.4). Santa Clara, on the other hand, forced the Dons into a turnover percentage of 20.4 (above their season average of 15.2).
The Gaels will look to keep it rolling after barely hanging on to beat the BYU Cougars in their last matchup, 87-84. Saint Mary’s received a boost from Jordan Ford, who was the team’s leading scorer with 24 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Saint Mary’s played a nearly perfect game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.323 (above their season average of 0.236) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 (above their season average of 27.1). BYU was 0.209 and 27.0, respectively, for those same stats.
Second-chance opportunities might be rare for Saint Mary’s in this matchup. The Gaels are among the NCAA’s elite on the offensive glass, ranking 222nd in offensive rebounding percentage at 27.4 percent. Meanwhile, Santa Clara ranks 76th in the country at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 74.8 percent. Opposite styles will be on display in this battle. The fast-breaking Broncos rank 57th in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Gaels rank 298th.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Gaels won both meetings last season. In the most recent matchup, Saint Mary’s won 66-55. The Gaels played a nearly perfect game. They had an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 38.2 and a turnover percentage of 15.5. The Broncos were 10.3 and 21.2, respectively, for those same stats.
Santa Clara Broncos vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels Free Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Saint Mary’s, ATS Winner – Saint Mary’s, O/U – Over
The Gaels rank 15th in rebounds allowed per game (30.3) while the Broncos rank 98th (34.0).
Saint Mary’s is 30th in the NCAA with 18.1 three pointers allowed per game while Santa Clara is 39th with 18.6 three pointers allowed per game.
Saint Mary’s ranks first in steals allowed per game (4.0) while Santa Clara ranks 146th (7.2).
The Broncos rank 13th in assists per game (17.1) while the Gaels rank 143rd (13.0).
Santa Clara ranks 47th in blocks per game (4.3) while Saint Mary’s ranks 158th (2.3).
The Gaels’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 7.4, down from 12.7 for the season.
During their last five games, the Broncos have scored an average of 66.6 points per game (8.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 54.2 points per game (8.9 below their season average).