The Gonzaga Bulldogs will look to stay perfect at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Gonzaga was not planning on playing Pacific on Thursday night. They originally had Loyola Marymount on the schedule earlier in the week, though that was cancelled because of Covid-19 concerns. In an attempt to avoid missing out on a game, they called up Pacific and added this game at the last-minute.
Credit Pacific for stepping up and accepting the challenge against a team they’ve already played once this season. A game that Pacific had no business showing up for. The Bulldogs steamrolled the Tigers for a 46-point win on January 23, 95-49. If Gonzaga wanted to win by more, they likely could have kept hammering the jugular. The jugular was already severed, though, and Gonzaga cruised for the final ten minutes. Through all of their big wins this season, that is their biggest win of the year.
In their most recent outing, Gonzaga made it look easy for another comfortable win. This time a meeting against Pepperdine in Malibu was their latest blowout. Gonzaga diced the Waves up for a 97-75 victory on Saturday. Six players got into the digits for the Bulldogs. That’s what makes this team so dangerous. They don’t rely on one or two players, but they can get production from throughout their roster, including the bench.
Forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert have really taken over for the Bulldogs, though. Timme led the Bulldogs in scoring with 19 points, while Kispert chipped in 16 points. The win over Pepperdine was the fifth time in six outings that they’ve scored at least 90 points. Besides the Baylor Bears, there isn’t another team in the country that can match Gonzaga right now. We don’t know if this is going to continue into the NCAA Tournament, but there has been no indications of either school slowing down to stop for a drink.
Pacific didn’t know that they’d be playing Gonzaga tonight until a couple of days ago. It kind of caught them off guard. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but in this case, I’d say it’s good because teams have prepared for the Bulldogs and have nothing to show for it this season. We know that Gonzaga doesn’t need the prep work for a matchup against 5-4 Pacific. Head below for our free Gonzaga vs. Pacific pick on February 4, 2021.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Pacific Tigers NCAA Betting Odds:
Gonzaga vs. Pacific Prediction:
Pacific are going to have to put on a much better show against Gonzaga or it’s going to get ugly again tonight. In their first meeting, Gonzaga had the game in the bag well before halftime. They carried a 52-21 lead going into the break. The spread was covered rather quickly by the Bulldogs. At least Pacific knows what to expect this time around, but all they might have learned from that game is how good this Gonzaga squad really is.
They’re damn good, and by the time Pacific blinks, this game could be out of reach again. The Bulldogs lead the NCAA with an average of 94.3 points scored per game. They’ve been lighting the floor up with an insane shooting percentage of 55.3%. The defense needs some work, and this is where Baylor could have an opening, but against Pacific, they should be able to contain the Tigers again.
The Tigers managed just 49 points in their first meeting. Pacific is 218th in the NCAA with 70.1 points netted per contest. Gonzaga is 185th with 70.4 points against per game, but are doing a good job limiting teams from converting a high shooting percentage. Opponents are hitting at a 41.1% clip from the field against the Bulldogs. That puts them in 81st nationally in that regard.
The argument could maybe be raised that now Pacific has the Bulldogs in their own backyard in Oregon. However, Gonzaga doesn’t slow down on the road for anyone. They’ve scored 94 points a game and conceded 71 points a game outside of Spokane, which is consistent with what they are doing at home.
The Tigers fought hard against BYU in a 95-87 loss in overtime on January 30. After pouring it all out there on the court, they have to play Gonzaga for the second time in three games. This game should be closer than 46 points, but 23 still looks too short for the Bulldogs in this spot.