The Gaels close their two game road trip tonight at Portland. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. The Gaels are coming off a buzzer beating win Wednesday night at BYU. The Gaels move to 14-4 overall and 3-1 WCC
Matthew Dellavedova came out strong in the second half scoring 16 of his 18 points against BYU. Three of which were a game winning, last second, off balance 3 point shot from downtown. He also had an impressive eight assists with just one turnover. Patience and a solid offense performance from Dellavedova will be a key factor in tonight’s game against the Pilots.
Stephen Holt had the game high 22 points and five rebounds for the Gaels. Holt’s offensive performance will also be big factor in a key road game win for SMC.
Mitchell Young had a strong performance against BYU with 10 points. Off the bench, James Walker had 13. Beau Levesque was held to just 1 point, but has been averaging 9.9 points per game and 21 minutes of play time.
Tonight, again look for Jordan Guisti off the bench for strong defense.
Last year the Gaels were 2-0 against Portland. At Portland the Gaels won 70-43. This is significant as it broke a three game losing streak at Portland. Portland historically has played the Gaels tough at home. The Gaels will need to limit scoring from junior forward Ryan Nicholas and sophomore guard Kevin Bailey. Both whom are averaging double digits on offense each game.
The Gaels had trouble against the match-up zone defense against BYU. On Portland’s home floor they have been holding teams to just 57 points a game. Getting around the Pilots’ defense will be essential for the Gaels.
The Gaels are looking to go 2-0 on the road and close in on Gonzaga and San Diego who are both 4-0 in WCC play.
Portland is currently 8-11 overall and is 1-3 (6th place) in the WCC. The Pilots have lost four of their last five games. Last Thursday night they suffered their latest loss in a 71-49 at home defeat to No. 8-ranked Gonzaga.
For the Pilots, Ryan Nicholas was a preseason all-WCC selection. He has backed his status up by averaging 13.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Kevin Bailey has also been solid for the Pilots with a 12.3 points average per game.
At home this year the Pilots are 6-3. They need a win if they are going to stay competitive in the WCC this season.
The action starts at 7:30pm tonight. Game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet California.