Pepperdine faces tough test vs No. 2 Gonzaga
No. 2 Gonzaga (25-1, 11-0) vs. Pepperdine (14-12, 7-5)
Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, California; Saturday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: No. 2 Gonzaga presents a tough challenge for Pepperdine. Pepperdine has lost both of its games against ranked teams this season. Gonzaga remains No. 2 in the latest AP rankings following wins over Loyola Marymount and Saint Mary’s last week.
LEADING THE WAY: Pepperdine’s Colbey Ross has averaged 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists while Kameron Edwards has put up 16.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. For the Bulldogs, Filip Petrusev has averaged 17.2 points and 7.9 rebounds while Corey Kispert has put up 13.8 points.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Bulldogs have given up only 64.9 points per game across 11 conference games. That’s an improvement from the 68.3 per game they gave up over 15 non-conference games.
KEY FACILITATOR: Ross has directly created 52 percent of all Pepperdine field goals over the last three games. Ross has 23 field goals and 22 assists in those games.
LONG-RANGE THREAT: Gonzaga’s Kispert has attempted 141 3-pointers and connected on 44 percent of them, and is 7 for 12 over the last three games.
STREAK STATS: Gonzaga has won its last nine road games, scoring 85.8 points and allowing 66.7 points during those contests. Pepperdine has won its last three home games, scoring an average of 81 points while giving up 71.7.
DID YOU KNOW: The Gonzaga offense has scored 88.5 points per game this season, ranking the Bulldogs first among Division I teams. The Pepperdine defense has allowed 77.4 points per game to opponents (ranked 297th overall).