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Portland (15-11) at San Diego (14-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: FSN-SD. Home Record: Portland 10-6, USD 7-6. Away Record: Portland 3-5, USD 5-7. Neutral Record: Portland 2-0, USD 2-1. Conference Record: Portland 7-7, USD 5-10. Series Record: San Diego leads, 45-28.

GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros will tip off their season-ending three-game homestand on Thursday evening when they welcome the Portland Pilots to Jenny Craig Pavilion for a West Coast Conference showdown.

Portland has experienced a solid campaign, going 15-11 overall with a 7-7 mark in the WCC. The Pilots have won back-to-back games, defeating Loyola Marymount on Feb. 13 (71-64) before downing Pepperdine last Saturday (74-62), but now they head back out on the road where they've gone just 3-5.

USD had been losers of a season-long four straight games prior to its most recent contest, which it easily defeated Pacific on the road on Saturday, 70-55. The Toreros are 14-14 overall this season, but things have not worked out according to plan in the WCC, going just 5-10.

The Toreros have a 45-28 advantage in the all-time series with the Pilots, which includes a dramatic 65-63 win in Portland back on Jan. 25.

The Pilots built up a seven-point halftime lead in their latest tilt and never coughed up that advantage down the stretch en route to their second straight victory, as they outshot Pepperdine from the field, 46 percent to 35.1 percent, and knocked down 21-of-29 at the free-throw line. Ryan Nicholas was the catalyst in the victory, shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-10 at the stripe for 21 points. Thomas van der Mars added 15 points and Tanner Riley netted 10.

On the season, Portland has been consistently strong on the offensive end of the court, shooting 45.8 percent from the field (including 39.9 percent from 3-point range) on its way to 77.2 ppg, which has been enough to support its lackluster defensive effort, as it allows 72.2 ppg on the other end. The squad's recent run has been even more impressive considering it has been without leading scorer Kevin Bailey (16.5 ppg) for the past two games with a foot injury. In Bailey's absence, Nicholas (13.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and van der Mars (12.7 ppg, .605 FG percentage, 6.8 rpg) have turned the Pilots into an even more frontcourt-heavy team.

The Toreros opened up a commanding 21-point lead at intermission over the weekend and never broke a sweat for the rest of the contest, as they put together one of their best all-around efforts of the season. They shot 48.8 percent from the field while holding Pacific to just 38.3 percent shooting, knocked down 9-of-16 from beyond the arc and held a 36-22 advantage in the rebounding battle. Christopher Anderson nearly tallied a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, Johnny Dee connected on all 10 of his free-throw attempts on his way to 19 points and Nick Kerr shot 4-of-6 from 3- point range off the bench for 12 points.

USD has been able to remain competitive in most of its matchups thanks to a strong defense, which allows just 64.2 ppg on 42 percent field-goal shooting, but unfortunately its offensive attack (67.1 ppg) has not been up to par. Dee puts up a team-best 17.1 ppg and has been a marksman from long range (.439) and the foul line (.933). Duda Sanadze brings 13.1 ppg to the table, Dennis Kramer mans the paint with 11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 0.9 bpg and Anderson chips in across the board with 9.6 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.8 rpg and 1.7 spg.

Although Portland has been the more impressive team this season, the playing field will be leveled in San Diego. The Toreros got the best of the Pilots earlier in the season and should be in line for another victory here, especially if Bailey is unable to suit up for Portland.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego 73, Portland 70

02/20 10:21:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
4th
SFG 2
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
 
4th
CLEM 16
SYR 6
 
4th
LAMON 18
TXST 22
 
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
4th
COLST 45
WYO 17
 
4th
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
3rd
TENN 17
ALA 27
 
3rd
AUB 35
SCAR 35
 
3rd
PSU 0
OSU 17
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
 
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
 
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
 
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
 
2nd Intermission
STL 3
CHI 1
 
3rd
NAS 0
PIT 3
 
3rd
MIN 6
TAM 2
 
2nd
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14