MBK | No. 15 Saint Mary's Grinds Out Win at Portland
The Gaels finished with a season-high 35 free throw attempts in the 13-point win at Portland.
PORTLAND -- In a physical battle from start to finish, No. 15/15 Saint Mary's (25-4, 14-2 WCC) used a gritty performance to defeat Portland (10-19, 4-12 WCC), 73-61, Saturday night at the Chiles Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Without floor leader Emmett Naar in the second half, Jock Landale led the Gaels for his 17th double-double of the season, as the senior grinded out 23 points and 10 rebounds. Tanner Krebs helped lift the Gaels offense particularly in the second half with 16 points and eight boards. SMC made just 2-of-15 from beyond the arc, but shot an efficient 83 percent from the free-throw line (29-for-35). 29 free-throws marked one shy of tying the season high, while 35 attempts is the most free-throw attempts this year.
- Leading by just three, SMC used the charity stripe to extend the lead to eight points with five and half minutes remaining. After back to back technicals called on UP, Krebs nailed down four consecutive free-throws to make it 63-53. The Gaels increased the lead to as much as 13 points with two and a half minutes remaining, and kept the advantage all the way down to the final whistle.
- The Gaels got off to a slow start as the team went scoreless for a near three minute stretch and shot just 25 percent in the first five minutes of the second half. SMC's size continued to be important as the Pilots recorded eight early fouls with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
- After a hot start by Portland which saw a seven-point deficit, SMC ran on an 11-0 run and forced Portland to a near five minute scoring drought to give the Gaels the 13-9 lead. Saint Mary's held UP without a field-goal for over six minutes to extend the margin to seven, 18-11.
- The Pilots didn't go away as the home squad trimmed the Gaels lead to just two points with seven minutes remaining in the opening half. UP regained the lead with six minutes on the clock as the Pilots went on a 9-0 run.
- The Gaels shot 48 percent in the first half to take the 36-31 lead into halftime, but recorded seven turnovers. UP shot just 40 percent (10-for-25 FG) but scored 12 points off the Gaels turnovers to remain close in the game.
- The Gaels have won seven straight versus Portland and 16 of the last 17 meetings.
- SMC has now recorded at least 25 wins in three straight seasons, and 10 times under head coach Randy Bennett.
- Gaels shot a season-high 35 free-throw attempts.
- Most free-throws attempted in a game in program history is 51 (vs Pepperdine, Jan. 7, 1956).
- 83: Gaels free-throw percentage
- 46: Number of fouls in the game
- 17: Double-doubles this season by Landale
- 13: Gaels three point field-goal percentage
- Saint Mary's comes back home to end the regular season. The Gaels will host Pepperdine inside McKeon Pavilion on Thursday, Feb. 22 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
- Fans can find coverage links on the men's basketball schedule page on SMCGaels.com.
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