Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Location: Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, CA
Time: 7:00 PM PST
This Season: Pepperdine won the first matchup 76-66 at War Memorial Gymnasium.
Thomas van der Mars
LIVESTREAM (Subject to blackout) *brought to you by thew.tv
Portland (15-13, 7-9) visits Saint Mary’s (20-9,10-6) in the second to last conference game for both teams.
At first glance: Saint Mary’s looked like the best team in the West Coast Conference during its absolute demolishing of Santa Clara on Saturday. Will they be able to do the same to Portland in hopes of building momentum towards the WCC Tournament? Despite having a sub-500 winning percentage, the Pilots have wins over both Gonzaga and BYU and almost upset the Zags in Spokane as well. It will be interesting to see if the Gaels can have the same success against the Pilots as they did against Santa Clara on Saturday.
Players to Watch: Stephen Holt had a career high 35. Will he carry the load or will the Gaels return to their stagnant offense that runs through Waldow that prevents them from blowing games wide open? Or will it be a run-and-gun mix that sees Holt drive to the basket, either hit a layup, or dish it out to one of the wings for a three. On the Pilots side, Ryan Nicolas is always fun to watch and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to make some noise on offense against Beau Levesque and Garrett Jackson. Jackson has come on of late and he will be a crucial piece if the Gaels are to make a run in Vegas.
Prediction: Portland hangs in for the first 10 minutes of the first half before the Gaels run away with it. Which surely means it will be a nail biter to the end.