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Pepperdine Waves vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/16/14

Gonzaga Bulldogs (14-3) at Pepperdine Waves (11-7)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Firestone Fieldhouse)

The Line: Pepperdine Waves +8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: The Gonzaga Bulldogs look to rebound from their first WCC loss of the season when they take to the road Wednesday to face the Pepperdine Waves.

The Breakdown: The Zags dropped out of the Top 25 this week after they were upset 82-73 by Portland last Thursday. The Bulldogs had the country’s 2nd-ranked field goal percentage (.515) heading into the game, but were outdone by a Portland side that shot 57 percent from the field and 57 percent from beyond the arc. Gonzaga shot well below its average from the floor at 44 percent and connected on just 4 of 15 from distance. The loss snapped the Zags’ 22-game winning streak in West Coast Conference games and also ended the Pilots’ 20-game losing streak in the series. Senior C Sam Dower had a team-high 14 points on 7 of 13 shooting and junior G Kevin Pangos added 12 points and 6 assists.  The Bulldogs opened league play winning four straight by an average of 21.5 points and still sit atop the WCC, despite the loss. Through 17 games, Gonzaga ranks 22nd in the nation at 82.3 ppg on a 2nd-ranked 51 percent shooting. Pangos  leads the team with 17.1 ppg, followed by Dower at 12.8 ppg.

Pepperdine Waves vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/16/14

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Pepperdine, meanwhile, is 4-2 in conference play and just snapped a two-game skid in its last contest Saturday with a 69-65 win over San Diego. The Waves shot 21 of 48 from the field and 7 of 15 from distance while allowing the Torreros to shoot 54 percent from the field and 5 of 11 from downtown. Pepperdine, however, finished with a 28-26 edge on the boards and forced 17 turnovers. Sophomore F Stacy Davis had a game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, and connected on 11 of 11 from the stripe. The Waves also got 12 points and 5 assists from freshman G Jeremy Major. Pepperdine was ahead 36-30 at the break and the lead changed hands just once in the second half when San Diego went on a 9-2 at the 11:48 mark, opening up 50-49 lead that would swell to 59-51. But the Waves would storm back and take a 66-65 lead on a dunk from senior F Brendan Lane with 39 seconds left. Pepperdine sealed it at the foul line from there. On the season, the Waves are averaging 72.7 ppg on 47 percent shooting and Davis leads the team with 15.5 ppg, followed by Lane at 15.0.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at 8.5 for Gonzaga. The Zags are the class of the WCC to the point where they almost don’t even belong in it. They’ve lost seven conference games in the last three years combined and haven’t lost back to back WCC games since 2011. And it’s not likely to happen here. Look for Gonzaga to cover.

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Gonzaga -8.5

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