Game 16: at Portland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m.
All-time Series: Saint Mary’s leads, 62-30
Last Meeting: 2/8/16 at Portland (W, 74-72)
Audio: TuneIn Radio
Live Stats | WatchESPN | TuneIn
Matchup with the Pilots
No. 21/21 Saint Mary’s (14-1, 4-0 WCC) flies up north on its annual trip up the Pacific Northwest. The Gaels will play at Portland on Thursday night with tipoff at 8 p.m.
This marks the 93rd meeting between the two programs, as the Gaels lead the all-time series, 62-30. SMC has won 11 of the past 12 meetings, with the last loss coming on March 7, 2015 in the quarterfinal round of the WCC Championships (L, 69-52).
What Happened in Last Meeting?
Junior guard Joe Rahon made a driving layup with just 2.7 seconds on the clock to lift the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball team to a wild 74-72 victory over Portland at the Chiles Center.
Neither team led by more than seven points and the game featured 19 ties and 16 lead changes. The 2-point margin of victory equaled the closest in regulation in series history, tying a 62-60 SMC win in McKeon Pavilion during the 1982 season.
Gaels vs. Dons Recap
Jock Landale and Dane Pineau wore out the Dons inside, as the Gaels defeated USF in a tough win at the Hilltop, 63-52. The Gaels trailed at halftime for just the third time all season.
Landale collected his sixth double-double of the season (21 pts, 11 rebs) while Pineau notched his first (14 pts, 12 rebs). The Dons’ Ronnie Boyce collected 19 points to lead the Dons.
The Gaels shot just 43.8 percent in the game but found their stroke late in the second to shoot 52.4 percent in the remaining 20 minutes.
Saint Mary’s is currently holding opponents to just 58.1 points per game. The team is first in the WCC and third in the nation in opponents points per game. Over the first four conference games, the Gaels haven’t let their opponents shoot 45 percent or better (LMU, 35.6 , USD 42.9, BYU 44.3% & USF 37.3%).
Where the Gaels Rank
The Gaels are currently 1st in the WCC in six statistical categories: Scoring defense (58.1, 3rd NCAA), field goal percentage (.501, 13th NCAA), rebound-margin (9.9, 1st NCAA) three-point FG percentage (39.6, 30th NCAA), assists (17.5, 21st NCAA) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6, 11th NCAA).
SMC also ranks 2nd in scoring margin (+16.0) and free-throw percentage (75.6 percent).
Who Can Stop Jock?
After a dominating performance in the win over BYU, Landale carried the production across the bay in the win at USF. The big man notched 21 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Landale ranks tied-46th in the NCAA with 6th double-doubles on the season.
According to the NCAA, Landale ranks 33rd in rebounding (9.7), 52nd in offensive rebounding (3.2) and tied-39th in defensive rebounding per game (6.5).
Keeping the Streak Alive
The Gaels have been ranked inside the top-25 in both AP and USA Today polls for the 10th consecutive week. This year’s program continues to shatter the previous record for consecutive weeks being ranked. The previous record was five straight weeks during the 2008 and 2012 seasons.
Landale + Pineau = 1-2 Combo
With Dane Pineau seeing extensive minutes off the bench and playing alongside Landale, the two have helped spearhead the league-leading defense. Both players rank inside the top-10 in blocks and offensive rebounds. Both recorded double-doubles in the win over USF Saturday night.
About the Pilots
Now 9-6 and 2-1 in WCC play, the Portland Pilots are run under first-year head coach and longtime NBA player Terry Porter.
The Pilots are currently averaging 75.2 points per game (4th in WCC) and boast the second best three-point shooting team behind SMC (39.4 percent).
Portland is currently led by senior guard Alec Wintering. The 6-0 guard is tops in conference with 21.0 points per game. Winterings also leads the Pilots and WCC in assists per game (6.0).
From the same high school as Calvin Hermanson (Lake Oswego), Jazz Johnson has been a focal point for the Pilots. The second year guard averagesan impressive 17.7 points per game. Johnson is 13th in conference in field-goal percentage (50.8 percent) and ranks fifth in scoring.
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