The West Coast Conference Tournament resumes in Las Vegas on Sunday with a battle of opposites as a Santa Clara bunch that has been pumping up its tempo battles with the traditionally slow and controlled St. Mary’s Gaels for a chance to go to the conference final.
When these teams met in February Santa Clara got the game’s speed closer to their liking and won as an underdog at home 77-72, which is one of just two times the Gaels allowed an opponent to exceed 70 points this season. The only other the was Gonzaga when the Bulldogs defeated Saint Mary’s 74-58 in Spokane.
The Broncos are not the same offense away from Santa Clara, as they are 39th among Division I teams in points scored on a per possession basis, but score 12.2 points per 100 possessions fewer when away from home.
When St. Mary’s played Santa Clara at home, they pulled off 73-65 win despite the Broncos shooting 42.9% from 3-point range as they’ve slowed games down all season, ranking 324th in the country in total possessions per game, with the number falling to 343rd in road and neutral court games.
It is also difficult to get second chance opportunities against Saint Mary’s with the Gaels allowing opponents to rebound 19.5% of their missed shots, the fifth-best mark in the country.
Only 11 teams in the country are allowing fewer points on a per possession basis away from home than Saint Mary’s and with an unfamiliar shooting environment for both teams on a neutral court in Las Vegas, points will be scarce on Monday.
The Play: Santa Clara vs Saint Mary’s Under 139
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