Saint Mary’s Gaels Get Much Needed Win At Portland


The Saint Mary’s Gaels stayed up north and faced the Portland Pilots tonight.  The Gaels were looking to get back in the groove after a disastrous loss at Gonzaga and losing four of their last five games. Tonight, they picked up a solid victory grounding the Pilots in a 72-63 win.

When asked about their poor performance of late, Beau Levesque said, “We just need to turn the page. We are better than we have been playing, and we have a chance to prove that Saturday night.” Tonight, in spite of some shaky play at the start and midway through the second half, the Gaels proved they are still a force.

The first half again started out a little rough for the Gaels. They fell down 15-8 with 14:27 in the half. There was little movement until 11:24 with the Gaels still down by seven; 19-12. The Gaels then had a 7-0 run tying the game 19-19 with 9:15 to play. The Gaels turned on their A game and took the lead 39-33 at the half.

For the first half, the Gaels were better tonight going 14-for-29 (48.3 percent) from the floor and they were 2-for-5 (40 percent) from 3. The Pilots went 11-for-25 (44.0 percent) from the floor and were also 2-for-5 (40.0 percent) from behind the arc.

In the second half, the Gaels started off strong building a 12-point lead 49-37 with 15:23 to play.  The Pilots would not stay down for long. Portland slowly started dipping into the Gaels lead as they literally shut the Gaels down for more than four minutes. With a 9-0 Pilot run, the game was within two; 52-50 with 8:17 left to play.

Portland’s leading scorer, Kevin Bailey, fouled out with 5:13 to play. He had 10 points. This would really hurt the Pilots offense as they trailed 58-50 with 4:48 to play.

By the media timeout at 3:18, the Gaels lead was back to 10, 60-50. The Pilots tried a full court press and fouling, but it was too little too late as they could not stop the Gaels at the end of the game.

The Gaels pulled off the much-needed “W.” They move to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in the West Coast Conference. The Pilots fall to 9-4 overall and 1-3 in the WCC.

Statistically, the Gaels finished the night  21-for-46 (45.7 percent) from the floor and were 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc. Leading the way was Stephen Holt with 19. Beau Levesque had 16 and Brad Waldow had 13. Off the bench, Dane Pinot had six with the Gaels trying a taller offense in stretches with Waldow, Hodges and Pinot up front. Height up front is certainly worth exploring in the offense.

The Pilots finished 19-for-50 (38 percent) from the floor and were 3-for-10 (30.0 percent) from threes. Ryan Nicholas led the way for the Pilots with 12. Alec Wintering had 11 and Bobby Sharp finished with 10.

The Gaels happily return home and face a non-conference game Monday night against William Jessup. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Pacific.