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Gonzaga vs. Pacific game preview: Three more to go

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The Zags are three wins away from an undefeated regular season.

NCAA Basketball: San Francisco at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs face off against the Pacific Tigers on Saturday afternoon as they continue their march to an undefeated regular season. Just three more games to go!

The Zags are coming off another slaughtering of the San Francisco Dons, spurred in part by yet another huge game from Nigel Williams-Goss. It wasn’t all roses and unicorns for the Zags, however, who also found out that Killian Tillie has a broken finger. How that affects his play going forward remains to be seen.

After losing seven-straight WCC contests, Pacific has won two of the last three contests. It has been a rough year for the Tigers in conference play, and showing up in Spokane isn’t going to make it much better.

Meet the opponent

Pacific Tigers, 10-18, KenPom #256

The biggest thing to know about Pacific is this team really struggles to put points on the board. They only average 66.9 points per game, which is good for No. 309 in the nation. The main issue is the Tigers just aren’t good at shooting the ball. Their eFG% is only 44.2, and that breaks out across the board. They are terrible at shooting twos, pretty wretched at shooting threes, and just not too good at shooting free throws.

Their are a few players who can score points. Senior guard TJ Wallace and junior forward Ray Bowles do a pretty good job on that front, and against Gonzaga the first time around, junior Jacob Lampkin exploded for 18. But that fact of the matter is this team’s offense just isn’t very good, and the Gonzaga defense is too good to have this be any sort of a contest.

What to watch out for

Who fills in for Killian Tillie’s minutes?

In case you missed it, Tillie broke his a finger on his shooting hand and is out indefinitely. Fingers are funny things in basketball. This might mean we see Tillie playing with a splint on his hand tonight. It also might mean that we don’t see Tillie for a few weeks while he is recuperating.

For the Zags, it will most likely be the latter, hopefully. No offense to Tillie, but in a game like tonight his minutes can be easily filled by someone else. Bryan Alberts would be one of the choices, but he is also dealing with some knee issues. So once again, we might see an earlier Rui Hachimura appearance, or perhaps some more Jeremy Jones time. Either way, getting to see what either of these players might be able to contribute with in March will be fun.

Keep feeding the beast.

Przemek Karnowski has been on a tear the past two games, and that will easily continue into tonight’s contest. Karnowski finished with 23 points against San Francsico, with the big story being his 9-of-10 shooting from the free throw line (61.6 percent on the season). There are a lot of keys for a deep March run, and Karnowski humming along at his efficient self is a big one.

Hopefully the home atmosphere enjoys this game.

Not to call out the Kennel, but there have been some times this season when it seems like you can hear a pin drop in Spokane. Sometimes it is easy to take for granted how good this team is, but honestly Spokane folks, let them hear the love. There are only two more games at home left for you to watch your Gonzaga Bulldogs, so be loud—the entire game.

Game info

  • Time: 1:00 pm PT
  • TV: KHQ/ROOT (Tom Glasgow and Francis Williams)
  • Radio: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network (Tom Hudson and Matt Santangelo)
  • Online: theW.tv (Outside of region)