The Saint Mary’s Gaels (12-2, 1-0 WCC) head to Marriott Center to square off against the BYU Cougars (12-2, 1-0 WCC). Both teams will will attempt to prolong their winning streaks. The Cougars are riding a nine-game winning streak, while the Gaels have won seven games in a row. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
Saint Mary’s Gaels at BYU Cougars Odds Preview
The last time the Gaels played, they easily got past the Loyola Marymount Lions, 87-59. Jock Landale was the top scorer from either team with 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Saint Mary’s played a nearly flawless game. They had a phenomenal effective field goal percentage of 0.720 (above their season average of 0.583) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 (above their season average of 31.7). Loyola Marymount was 0.411 and 25.7, respectively, for those same stats.
The Cougars hope to maintain momentum after thoroughly outplaying the Portland Pilots in their last matchup, 69-45. With 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting, Yoeli Childs was the games leading scorer. BYU played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.269 (matching their season average) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 21.4 (below their season average of 26.0). For those same stats, Portland had marks of 0.069 and 13.0, respectively.
Half-court execution will be at a premium when two of the NCAA’s slowest-paced teams square off. BYU ranks 280th in possessions per game (68.4) and Saint Mary’s is 345th (64.5).
Landale has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Saint Mary’s, averaging 23.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
This is the first time these teams will battle this year, after the Gaels won all three contests last season. In the most recent matchup, Saint Mary’s won 81-50. The Gaels dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a ridiculous effective field goal percentage of 0.683 and a free throw rate of 0.192. The Cougars had marks of 0.350 and 0.133, respectively, for those same stats.
Saint Mary’s Gaels at BYU Cougars Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Saint Mary’s, ATS Winner – Saint Mary’s, O/U – Over
- The Cougars average 4.4 blocks per game, which ranks 61st in the NCAA. The Gaels rank 87th in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- Saint Mary’s ranks first in rebounds allowed per game (27.8) while BYU ranks 26th (31.1).
- Saint Mary’s ranks 13th in steals allowed per game (4.6) while BYU ranks 74th (5.9).
- The Gaels rank 11th in three pointers allowed per game (16.8) while the Cougars rank 63rd (20.1).
- Saint Mary’s ranks 26th in assists per game (17.8) while BYU ranks 75th in assists allowed per game (12.1).
- The Cougars average margin of victory in their last five games has been 15.4, up from 10.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Gaels have scored an average of 84.2 points per game (2.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 64.2 points per game (2.7 below their season average).