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Key matchup: Pacific's Donovan Williams is likely to play heavy minutes, get to free throw line plenty against Gonzaga

Feb. 16—Moe Odum was our choice for key matchup prior to Gonzaga's last game against Pacific, but Donovan Williams was probably the most impactful Tiger in a tightly contested game between teams that sit at opposite ends of the West Coast Conference spectrum.

As it usually is for coach Leonard Perry's team, the offensive production was fairly spread out during an 82-73 loss to Gonzaga on Jan. 27 at the Alex G. Spanos Center, but Williams scored a team-high 14 points, making 4 of 7 shots from the field and going 6 of 8 from the free-throw line.

The senior guard isn't leading Pacific in any of the major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists), but he's been one of the Tigers' most durable players and leads them in another important column.

Williams is averaging a team-high 30.9 minutes per game and had his highest total in a regulation game this season when he played 38 in last month's loss to GU. Williams played a season-high 41 minutes in the team's 92-88 overtime loss to San Francisco.

A former Oklahoma State player who transferred to Pacific after two seasons in the Big-12, Williams is averaging 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Only two players in the WCC are getting to the free-throw line more than the 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard, who's made 79 of 122 (64%) this season. San Diego's Wayne McKinney sits at No. 1 in the conference with 144 free-throw attempts while Pepperdine's Michael Ajayi is second at 133.

Williams is making 35% of his field goals this season and has struggled from the 3-point line in WCC play, making just 7 of 37 while missing his past seven attempts.

Pacific's traditionally small lineups always make individual matchups against GU interesting. With the exception of Graham Ike, just about every Zags starter who played in the Jan. 27 game saw time guarding Williams. Guards Nolan Hickman and Ryan Nembhard got the bulk of the assignment in the second half.