No. 3 Gonzaga (26-2, 13-0) hosts San Diego (13-15, 6-7) Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the McCarthey Athletic Center. The game will be televised by Root Sports.
The Stats - Scoring is not San Diego's forte, so when they hosted Gonzaga on February 2nd they made sure it didn't turn into a shootout. The Toreros held GU to 65 points, their third-lowest scoring output of the season and the fewest the Zags have put up in WCC games. Mark Few's team averaged nearly 15 points more per game than the Toreros, but that margin wasn't evident in their first meeting. Gonzaga ranks third in the nation in shooting percentage at 50.7, but hit just 43.9 of their attempts at San Diego. The Toreros are the best team in the WCC at defending the three-point arc, allowing makes on less than 28 percent. Also contributing to the Zags' woes on February 2nd was USD's 38-32 edge on the glass.
The Stars - Johnny Dee has paced the Toreros offensively this year, and that was evident when the Zags visited the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The sophomore guard had a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds. He and forward Ken Rancifer (10.1) are their only double-figure scorers on the year. One player that caused headaches against GU was 5-foot-7-inch guard Chris Anderson. He handed out 11 of USD's 12 assists, while scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds. Gonzaga countered with 18 points from Elias Harris, and 15 off the hands of Kelly Olynyk, who along with David Stockton provided some key buckets down the stretch. Harris is coming off of back-to-back 17-point games (including 15 in the first half against Santa Clara). While Gonzaga did hit 50 percent of its three-pointers at San Diego, they only took eight attempts. With the perimeter being the strength of the Torero 'D' the opportunities could again be there for Harris and Olynyk.
The Storylines - Saturday's game could provide a taste of redemption for the Zags. Last year they fell short of the WCC regular season title for the first time in 12 years. A win over San Diego and they'll secure at least a share of the crown. A 27th win also provides their highest regular season win total in program history. Recent history has been in Gonzaga's favor when they've met the Toreros. Mark Few's guys have claimed 31 of their last 33 showdowns. Former GU assistant Bill Grier is just 1-10 against the Zags.