Saint Mary's takes on California on Saturday night in a non-conference battle from Haas Pavilion. The Gaels are coming off a 78-68 loss to No. 15 Dayton last Sunday at home, while Cal defeated Fresno State, 69-63 at home on Wednesday. That win broke a two-game losing streak for the Golden Bears.
These teams met last season with Saint Mary's beat up on the Bears, 84-71 at home.
Streak is overSaint Mary's had won seven straight games before falling to Dayton last Sunday in the Jerry Colangelo Classic from Phoenix. The Flyers shot 54% from the floor and 13-of-24 from beyond the arc. That tells you how good Dayton is because the Gaels are usually one of the best defensive teams in the nation. Saint Mary's shot just 33% from the field in the first half but shot 56.6% in the second. They also shot 7 of 16 from three-point range and came into the game shooting 44.4%, which led the nation.
Malik Fitts (6-8, 230) led the Gaels with 21 points and eight boards on 7-of-12 shooting against the Flyers. Sophomore guard Kristers Zoriks (6-4, 190) added 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Guard Jordan Ford leads the Gaels with 19.4 points per game on 48.5% shooting (40.6% 3pt). Fitts adds 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds on 46.6% shooting (40% 3pt).
Saint Mary's averages 74.6 points per game on 49.3% shooting (21st). They allow 61.9 points per game on 43.9% shooting (35.2% 3pt). They outrebound teams by 3.9 per game.
Playing at a slow paceCal opened the season winning their first four games, but then reality struck. They were thrashed by Duke, 87-52 on Nov. 21 and Texas, 62-45 on Nov. 22 in the Empire Classic. But a loss to San Francisco by 12 and to Santa Clara by 19, shows that the rebuild for Mark Fox is just beginning and will take awhile.
Fortunately, Cal defeated Fresno State by six. Sophomore wing Matt Bradley (6-4, 220) led the Bears with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting, while 6-3 guard Kareem South added 17 points. South is a transfer from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, who averaged 13.9 points per game last season.
The offense is a major issue right now with Cal averaging just 65.6 points per game (295th) on 45.7% shooting (40% 3pt). They are shooting it well, but slowing it down with a pace of 305th in the nation. On defense, they are allowing 68.3 points per game on 40.1% shootign (34.9% 3pt).
Saint Mary's is:
- 4-1 ATS last 5 after a DD loss at home.
Trends from Covers.com Cal is:
- 1-4 ATS last 5 home games.
- 1-6 ATS last 7 overall.
- 2-8 ATS last 10 Saturday games.