Typically, the Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves atop the West Coast Conference with nobody other than St. Mary’s and BYU to challenge them but the San Francisco Dons enter this clash in Spokane on Thursday with a better overall record and with a chance to make a statement.
San Francisco Dons vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (-10, 149)
Where the Dons have shined brightest this season is on defense, ranking 10th in the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis and fourth when playing on the road.
The key to San Francisco’s defensive success has been winning in the paint — allowing an offensive rebound on just 21.3% of opponents’ missed shots this season, which ranks 17th in the nation.
Controlling the interior does trickle to the offensive side of the ball for San Francisco as well, ranking 10th in 2-point shooting percentage at 58.3%. The offensive falloff when playing on the road is far less than most teams, too, ranking eighth and shooting 57.5%.
While Gonzaga’s offense is always reliant on being efficient inside the 3-point arc, ranking inside the top seven in 2-point shooting percentage every season since the 2016-17 season. But its 3-point shooting percentage sits at just 32.8%, which ranks 217th nationally.
For as good as the Dons have played on defense, they’ve also been solid on offense, ranking 42nd in points scored on a per-possession basis and on top of already limiting the number of clean possessions opponents get (ranked 19th in turnovers forced per offensive play), will give themselves a chance to spring the upset in The Kennel.
The Play: San Francisco +10