St. Mary’s looks to extend streak vs Portland
Portland (7-22, 0-14) vs. Saint Mary’s (19-10, 10-4)
McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, California; Thursday, 11 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Saint Mary’s looks for its eighth straight win in the head-to-head series over Portland. In its last seven wins against the Pilots, Saint Mary’s has won by an average of 17 points. Portland’s last win in the series came on March 7, 2015, a 69-52 victory.
STEPPING UP: Saint Mary’s’ Jordan Ford has averaged 21.8 points while Malik Fitts has put up 15.8 points and 7.7 rebounds. For the Pilots, Marcus Shaver Jr. has averaged 15 points while JoJo Walker has put up 11.8 points.
SHAVER JR. CAN SHOOT: Shaver has connected on 34.8 percent of the 135 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 21 over his last five games. He’s also converted 78.1 percent of his foul shots this season.
UNBEATEN WHEN: Saint Mary’s is a perfect 12-0 when the team makes nine or more 3-pointers. The Gaels are 7-10 when the team hits fewer than nine threes.
TWO STREAKS: Portland has dropped its last 10 road games, scoring 65.7 points and allowing 78.9 points during those contests. Saint Mary’s has won its last 11 home games, scoring an average of 81.2 points while giving up 62.7.
DID YOU KNOW: The Saint Mary’s offense has recorded a turnover on only 16.3 percent of its possessions, which is the 30th-best rate in the country. The Portland defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 16.8 percent of all possessions (ranked 306th among Division I teams).