Portland Travels to the Bay to Take on Saint Mary’s


Nov 18, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Portland Pilots guard Bryce Pressley (1) brings the ball up court against the Michigan State Spartans during the 1st half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Portland, which has won its last four games, travels down to Moraga for a matchup with the Gaels. The Gaels will be looking for a victory to build confidence before hosting the No. 3 team in the country, Gonzaga.

Portland Pilots (16-10, 7-7) at Saint Mary’s Gaels (19-6, 11-3)

Date: Thursday, February 19

Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, Calif.

Time: 8:00 p.m. PST

TV: thew.tv

Livestream: thew.tv


Saint Mary’s

Aaron Bright (10.6 PPG)

Kerry Carter (12.2 PPG)

Garrett Jackson (7.7 PPG)

Desmond Simmons (5.7 PPG)

Brad Waldow (20.0 PPG)


Alec Wintering (12.7 PPG)

Bryce Pressley (7.7 PPG)

Kevin Bailey (13.2 PPG)

Volodymyr Gerun (8.7 PPG)

Thomas van der Mars (10.5 PPG)

The Last Matchup

Portland kept it close in the first half, but a 14-0 run in the second half allowed the Gaels to pull away from the Pilots in a 84-74 victory.

Brad Waldow and Garrett Jackson were terrific for the Gaels, scoring 19 and 18 points, along with nine and eight rebounds respectfully in the Gaels win. Kerry Carter also finished in double-digits and led SMC with four assists.

Portland had four different starters finish in double figures – Bryce Pressley (18), Thomas van der Mars (16), Kevin Bailey (13) and Alec Wintering (10) – but its bench only contributed five points and shot a measly 18 percent from the field, giving no help to the starters. Van der Mars added 13 rebounds to his 16 points to record a double-double, and Wintering’s four assists were a team high for the Pilots.

What’s New with the Gaels?

Saint Mary’s usually is more balanced and talented than most of its opponents in the WCC, but the Pilots provide a special challenge.

Van der Mars, the Pilots center, will provide a great challenge for Waldow defensively. The Dutch big man is a threat to record a double-double in any given matchup and is a tough matchup in the paint. He is having a down year, but the potential for a stellar game is always there with Van der Mars.

The Pilots backcourt is potent and could give the Gaels problems. Wintering can fill up the statsheet if he isn’t accounted for, and Pressley (who is also having a down year but is a viable scoring option) and Bailey can take over the offensive duties if Wintering is swallowed up.

However, the Gaels depth could put them over the top in the matchup, as the Pilots do not have any electric players that can make an impact off the bench. This could come in the play later in the game, when the starters are beginning to wear down.

After the Gaels split this weekend and let BYU gain back some ground for the second place spot in the WCC (the Cougars are only 1.5 games back), SMC needs a good outing against the Pilots in preparation for a clash with the Bulldogs, which should be the Gaels toughest remaining test of the season.

What’s New With the Pilots? (By David Thompson)

After a disastrous January, the Portland Pilots have been finding their stride a little bit in February. Riding a four game win streak, the Pilots will need to play their best ball of the season in order to take down Saint Mary’s.

One of Portland’s greatest strengths is their balance. Against Pepperdine last week, all five Portland starters scored in double digits. When the team plays that unselfishly they can cause some real problems for their opponents.

More than the offensive end, the defensive side of the ball is where Portland needs to focus. It’s no coincidence that in their four game win streak, they haven’t allowed an opponent to shoot greater than 40% from the field.

This game is a big one for Portland in the sense that they want to keep their momentum going in these final two weeks and into the WCC tournament in March. If Portland could reel off a few more wins, their chances at a postseason tournament will improve dramatically.

Matchup to Watch – Kevin Bailey and Desmond Simmons/Garrett Jackson

If the Gaels decide to come out in man-to-man defense against the Pilots, Portland’s leading scorer will likely be matched up with Simmons or Jackson, too big and lengthy players that can shut down Bailey with their size. Without Bailey’s scoring punch, it would be unlikely for the Pilots to keep up with the Gaels.