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Montana State (3-5) at Portland (6-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 15, 5 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Chiles Center (4,852) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 2-1, Portland 5-1. Away Record: MSU 1-2, Portland 1-2. Neutral Record: MSU 0-2, Portland 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, Portland 0-0. Series Record: Portland leads, 13-10.

GAME NOTES: The Portland Pilots try to run their win streak to four in a row today as they host the Montana State Bobcats in non-conference play at the Chiles Center.

Portland has won three straight and five of the last six outings overall, the lone setback being a 77-72 double-overtime loss to North Texas back on Nov. 13. More recently, the team dismissed rival Portland State in a 92-76 romp last Saturday on the road.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats have had difficulty putting together consistent efforts from one game to the next, alternating wins and losses over the last six outings. The latest turn in that trend came eight days ago when the squad followed up a 79-54 setback versus Wyoming on Nov. 30 with a massive 109-54 rout of Walla Walla at home.

According to Portland sources, the Pilots lead the all-time series by a count of 13-10, although MSU won the most recent meeting last season by a score of 83-64 at home.

Montana State had little trouble doubling-up on Walla Walla the last time out, matching the overall production of the visitors by halftime as the hosts shot 54.8 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes, a staggering 75.0 percent in the second half to finish with 62.9 percent accuracy overall. Stephan Holm scored a team-best 21 points, Flavien Davis 18 and Paul Egwuonwu 14 points and 11 rebounds in the triumph. Marcus Colbert pitched in with 12 points and six assists, followed by Calen Coleman and Antonio Biglow with 10 points apiece.

At this point in the campaign, the Bobcats have only one player (Coleman) who has started every game, so it isn't too surprising to find that there are only two double-digit performers on the roster. Colbert and Egwuonwu both check in with 10.3 ppg, with each shooting at least 52.5 percent from the floor, but while the latter tends to do the majority of his work in the paint where he is also credited with 8.9 rpg, the former is responsible for 15-of-30 shooting behind the 3-point line.

The rivalry between Portland and Portland State went in favor of the Pilots the last time out as the visitors survived 10-of-18 shooting beyond the arc by the Vikings by outscoring the hosts by a 29-16 advantage at the free-throw line. Kevin Bailey was the top scorer for Portland with 23 points, but making even more of an impact was Thomas van der Mars who registered a huge double- double with 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Before fouling out. Alec Wintering contributed 12 points and four assists in 21 minutes of action.

Named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week for his effort against the Vikings, van der Mars has averaged 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last six outings. The big man is second on the team overall with his 13.2 ppg and 7.2 rpg, trailing Bailey (16.7 ppg) in the scoring department and Ryan Nicholas (13.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg) on the glass. Thanks to some high-scoring affairs, Portland is now being credited with 81.4 ppg, considerably more than the 72.1 ppg being allowed.

With van der Mars asserting himself more and more in the paint, opponents of the Pilots are finding it harder to keep up with Portland on the glass, and in the end that could be the undoing of Montana State today as well.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland 80, Montana State 67

12/15 10:39:45 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
3rd
ECU 31
NCCU 7
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
 
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
 
9th
KAN 1
CLE 1
 
9th
CWS 4
DET 7
 
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
 
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
 
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
9th
ARI 0
COL 1
 
7th
STL 4
CHC 1
 
6th
SDP 1
LOS 1
 
5th
SFG 3
MIL 0
 
4th
ANA 0
OAK 0
 
5th
SEA 0
WAS 2
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
 
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
 
4th
OKLA 48
LATU 10
 
4th
KST 52
SAUST 16
 
4th
USC 52
FRES 13
 
4th
MSST 42
SMISS 0
 
3rd
OKST 17
FSU 20
 
3rd
TEX 28
UNT 0
 
4th
NMU 21
UTEP 24
 
8:05pm Tonight
UF 0
IDAHO 0
2nd
LSU 7
WISC 10
 
10:30pm Tonight
OREG
SD
10:30pm Tonight
HAW
WASH
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
3rd
ECU 31
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR 4
DUR 1