PORTLAND, Ore. -- With the emotions of Wednesday night's win at BYU now in the rearview mirror, the Saint Mary's men's basketball team hits the road again Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. game at Portland.
The game will be televised locally by Comcast SportsNet California. Live audio, with play by play man Alex Jensen on the call, will be available via the Gaels Live section of SMCGaels.com. Live stats can also be found on SMCGaels.com.
Saint Mary's (14-4, 3-1 West Coast Conference) probably couldn't duplicate the script it followed to beat BYU if it tried. Tyler Haws put the Cougars up by two with two seconds to play, leaving Beau Levesque to inbound the ball for the Gaels.
Levesque found Matthew Dellavedova heading upcourt, hit him in stride, and Dellavedova provided yet another unbelievable moment when his runner from just inside the half-court line found the bottom of the net and gave Saint Mary's a 70-69 win.
The win was important in a number of ways, especially considering the value of beating a good opponent on the road in the WCC. Through Thursday's games, Saint Mary's sat just one game back of first-place Gonzaga and San Diego.
Stephen Holt continued his outstanding play since coming back from a bruised knee, scoring 22 points and grabbing five rebounds in the BYU win. Holt will try to continue his run of good play, this time in front of a home crowd as the Portland, Ore. native will have family and friends in attendance when the Gaels take on the Pilots.
Dellavedova was the ultimate closer against BYU, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half. He also dished out eight assists and committed just one turnover, showing once again the floor command that has led many to call him one of the best point guards in the nation.
Joining Holt and Dellavedova in double figures were James Walker III and Mitchell Young. Walker came off the bench to score 13 points, while Young scored 10. Walker and Young each pulled down seven rebounds as well, helping SMC outrebound BYU 36-29.
Portland (8-11, 1-3) has lost four of its last five, with the latest setback coming in a 71-49 loss to No. 8-ranked Gonzaga at Chiles Center on Thursday.
Forward Kevin Bailey led the Pilots against Gonzaga, scoring 16 points. Ryan Nicholas added seven points and eight rebounds, and Oskars Reinfelds added 12 points.
Nicholas and Bailey have been the scoring leaders for Portland this season. Nicholas was a preseason All-WCC selection, and the junior forward from Spokane, Wash. has backed that pick up by averaging 13.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Bailey, a sophomore guard from Clovis, Calif., has chipped in with 12.3 points per game.
The Pilots opened conference play with three games on the road, going 1-2 over that stretch with a win at Loyola Marymount providing the highlight. Now, they get to settle in for a stretch at home as Saturday's game is the second of four straight at Chiles Center.
Saint Mary's won both meetings between the teams last season, with a 70-43 win in Portland clinching a share of the WCC title the Gaels would win outright one game later. Clint Steindl led the way with 15 points in the win over the Pilots. That win was also significant in that it broke the Gaels' three-game losing streak in Portland.
After Saturday's game, Saint Mary's returns home to host its next two conference contests.
San Diego visits McKeon Pavilion on Thursday for a 8 p.m. game, then Pepperdine comes to Moraga for a 3 p.m. tip on Saturday. Tickets to both games are available by clicking the Tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.