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St. Mary's at Gonzaga: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

One of the top rivalries in college basketball has even more meaning this time around, as Saint Mary's looks to get a commanding lead in the WCC with a road trip at Gonzaga.

Allstate Maui Invitational - Purdue v Gonzaga
Allstate Maui Invitational - Purdue v Gonzaga / Darryl Oumi/GettyImages
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One of the top rivalries in college basketball has even more meaning this time around, as Saint Mary's looks to get a commanding lead in the WCC with a road trip at Gonzaga.

TV schedule: Saturday, February 3rd, 10:30 pm ET, ESPN

Arena: McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington

It's been a rare year of vulnerability for Gonzaga (16-5, 7-1), who not only isn't in first place this late in the WCC but is viewed as being outside of the NCAA Tournament picture. They've lost all of their top games of the season, including to Santa Clara on the road earlier in league play. But to the Bulldogs credit, they've taken care of business against everyone else, including a 92-58 win at home against LMU.

It was a great performance from Nolan Hickman, who had a game-high 24 points on 10/15 shooting. Graham Ike had another 20-point game, while Anton Watson had 10 points on a perfect 4/4 shooting from the field. They now take on the top team in the WCC, which is currently unbeaten.

Things look easy for Saint Mary's (17-6, 8-0) on Wednesday night against Santa Clara, up 16-0 early and having a 22-point halftime lead. They ultimately won by just five points, 88-77, led by 20 points and six assists from Augustas Marciulionis. The junior starter is playing his best ball as of late, having 25 points in a win over LMU in the game before.

Aidan Mahaney leads the team with 14.1 ppg, shooting 34% from deep. The frontcourt duo of Mitchell Saxen and Joshua Jefferson are both double-digit scorers and good rebounds and should match up well against Watson and Ike for Gonzaga.

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The Gaels are a top-tier defensive unit, regardless of pace. The Bulldogs have struggled shooting at times but in a low-possession game, making just enough baskets could be enough to get it done. With this being a crucial game for both sides, look for Gonzaga to find a way to get its first Quad 1 victory to enhance its resume.

Prediction: Gonzaga 67, Saint Mary's 62