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Santa Clara Broncos vs. St. Mary's Gaels Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/22/14

St. Mary's Gaels (19-9) at Santa Clara Broncos (12-16)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Leavey Center)

The Line: Santa Clara Broncos +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT

Storyline: St. Mary’s tries to avoid a three-game slide when they visit Santa Clara Thursday at the Leavey Center.

The Breakdown: The Gaels fell to 9-6 for 4th place in the WCC after suffering a 73-62 loss at San Francisco Thursday. St. Mary’s struggled shooting the ball, connecting on 39.7 percent from the floor and just 5 of 26 from outside the arc to the Dons’ 50.0 percent from the field and 7 of 14 from distance. The Gaels came away with a 41-32 rebounding advantage, but converted 11 of 18 from the free throw line. Junior F Brad Waldow had a team-high 15 points and 13 boards, junior F Garrett Jackson scored 13 points to go with 7 rebounds, and senior G Stephen Holt added 7 points and 5 rebounds. On the season, the Gaels are averaging 73.2 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting. Waldow leads the team with 16.1 ppg, followed by Holt at 14.0 ppg.

Santa Clara Broncos vs. St. Mary's Gaels Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/22/14

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Santa Clara improved to 5-10 for 8th place in the conference after its 70-50 rout of Pacific Thursday. Junior G Brandon Clark had a game-high 17 points, including 8 of 9 from the foul line, freshman G Jared Brownridge scored 16 points on 4 of 10 from outside the arc, and freshman F Nate Kratch added 9 points and 7 rebounds. The Broncos outshot the Tigers from the field 35.7 percent to 32.0 percent and from distance 29.6 percent to 11.1 percent. Santa Clara also finished with a 38-33 advantage on the boards and converted 22 of 28 from the free throw line. Through 27 games, the Broncos are averaging 70.5 ppg on 42.2 percent shooting. Clark leads the team with 17.0 ppg, followed by Brownridge at 16.7 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -4.5 for St. Mary’s. The Gaels lost a close one at home to Santa Clara 57-55 about six weeks ago and they’ve gone in opposite directions since, with St. Mary’s taking 7 of 11 and the Broncos losing 8 of 10. Look for St. Mary’s to cover.

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St. Mary's -4.5

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