College Basketball action on Saturday evening and a pair of teams from the West Coast Conference will square off as the St Mary’s Gaels grapple with the Loyola Marymount Lions at Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles, California.
The Gaels enter this game off an 88-66 home win over BYU, while the Lions are off a 76-64 home win over Portland. Both teams come in at 1-1 in league play.
KenPom has the Gaels ranked 41st in the nation and they have played the 132nd toughest schedule, while the Lions come in ranked 134th in the land and they have played the 304th toughest schedule.
Gaels Crush The Cougars At Home
The St Mary’s Gaels have not been the strong team that we have been used to over the last few years, but they are still one of the best teams in the West Coast Conference. They are 10-7 on the year and 1-1 in league play after crushing BYU at home by a score of 88-66. The Gaels have always been a strong offensive team and this year has been no different. They hung up 88 points on the Cougars and did so on 54.8% shooting from the field overall, including 42.9% (9/21) from long range.
The Gaels also committed just seven turnovers, while forcing 13. St Mary’s is 9th in the nation in turnover percentage at 15%. That number will be tested against a Loyola team that has forced turnovers on 22.4% of their opponent’s possessions, which is 36th in the nation. Leading their attack was Jordan Ford (22.8 ppg), who scored 23, while Malik Fitts (14.5 ppg) had 18 and Tanner Krebs (8.8 ppg) had 14. The defense played well as they allowed BYU to connect on just 40.7% of their shots overall, including 35.3% (6/17) of their shots from long range.
Gaels travel to Los Angeles for Saturday night matchup with Loyola Marymount.
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— Saint Mary's Hoops (@saintmaryshoops) January 10, 2019
The Gaels enter this game ranked 92nd in the nation in scoring at 77.6 ppg, while also ranking 23rd in shooting (49.1%), 20th in three-point shooting (39.3%) and 55th in free throw shooting (74.1%). On defense, they are 65th in points allowed, giving up 66.5 ppg, while also ranking 195th in defensive FG% (43.6%) and 75th in three-point defense (31.2%).
It Has Been A Good Start For The Lions
Loyola Marymount has had their struggles over the years but this year so far, it has been a good start. The Lions have gone 13-3 out the gate and now they are 1-1 in league play after taking down the Portland Pilots by a score of 76-64. The defense has been a strength for the Lions and they will need that defense to rise up against the Gaels, who have been very good on offense this year.
The Lions allowed the Pilots to hit 47.8% of their shots overall, but just 6/18 of their shots from long range and they forced them into 17 turnovers. The Lions have forced many turnovers this year, but the Gaels don’t turn the ball over that much. That will be interesting to watch. The Lions hit 48.1% of their shots from the field overall against the Pilots, including 38.5% (5/13) of their shots from long range. Leading their attack was Joe Quintana (17.9 ppg) who had 19, while Mattias Markusson (11.1 ppg) had 17 and Eli Scott (6.9 ppg) had 15.
The Lions enter this game ranked 254th in the nation in scoring at 71.1 ppg, while also ranking 175th in shooting (44.9%), 294th in three-point shooting (31.3%) and 20th in free throw shooting (76.3%). On defense, they are 10th in points allowed, giving up 60.6 ppg, while also ranking 57th in defensive FG% (40.4%) and 11th in three-point defense (27.6%).
Loyola Marymount is:
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win
- The Dog is 0-4 ATS the last four games in this series
St Mary’s is:
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall
- 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Loyola Marymount
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Gaels are the play in this one. The Lions have played very well in the early going, but we also note that they have played the 304th rated schedule in the nation. The Gaels have a strong offense and should be able to expose a Loyola defense that has been among the best in the nation. The Gaels can also play defense and the Lions have had their issues on offense. St Mary’s will take this one by at least eight points
Prediction: St Mary’s -5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Gaels have been strong on offense this year, but and while I expect them to have a good showing against the Lions, we do note that Loyola is 10th in the nation in points allowed, giving up 60.6 ppg. The Gales have also played solid defense this year and Loyola is not a good offensive team. The Gaels are 320th in the nation in pace, while the Lions are 344th. The Under is 38-13 in St Mary’s last 51 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 8-2-1 in LMU’s last 11 games following a straight up win. All of that adds up to a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Under 131