There are three games left before the WCC heads to Vegas for the conference tournament and the standings are rounding into shape. Portland is currently sitting in 5th, a game and a half behind Pepperdine, and half a game up on San Diego. As far as seeding goes Portland is first focused on securing a top 6 spot, to avoid the dreaded Friday play-in games.
Jan 24, 2015; Spokane, WA, USA; Pacific Tigers forward Gabriel Aguirre (11) tries to back down Gonzaga Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski (24) during the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Most likely the season finale vs. San Diego will determine if Portland can stay ahead of the Toreros in the standings, but before we can get into that Portland needs to focus on taking care of business in their most winnable game they have remaining tonight at Pacific.
Portland’s hot 4 game winning streak came to an end right around the 15:00 minute mark against Saint Mary’s when the Gaels rolled off 18 straight and put their the Pilots to bed.
Portland can’t afford to go on 7 minute scoring droughts in any game, and if these cold streaks continue, Portland won’t be able to make any noise the final few weeks of the season.
They survived against Pacific earlier in the season behind Kevin Bailey’s 21 points and a buzzer-beating 3 pointer from Alec Wintering but hopefully for the Pilots they won’t need to rely on late game heroics to pull off the win. Like I’ve mentioned Portland is at it’s best when they put out a balanced effort and they will need everyone to step up in order to go on the road and get the W.
It will also be interesting to see how Portland responds to their last loss. Losses have come in bunches for these Pilots and there’s no time for a turnaround if the losses comes in multiples this late in the season.