Portland storms past St. Mary'sFeb 1, 2009 - 5:33 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- No Patty Mills, no chance for St. Mary's.
A week that began with promise ended with a two-game losing streak as Nik Raivio and Portland rattled the 18th-ranked Gaels, 84-66, on Saturday in a West Coast Conference clash.
"I'm really proud of our performance and the way we responded after getting hit in the mouth early," coach Eric Reveno said after his Pilots defeated a ranked team for the first time since 1981. "I think the defense dictated that we won, then we just happened to shoot the ball well and create some separation."
St. Mary's (18-3, 5-2 WCC) got off to a quick start and took a 24-14 lead on Lucas Walker's 3-pointer with 7:41 left. However, the absence of its star guard Mills, who broke two bones in his right hand during a loss to Gonzaga on Thursday, proved too much to overcome.
"Your heart goes out to (Saint Mary's) because they're in a tough spot, that's a tough situation to be in as a hard-working team," Reveno said in regards to Mills' absence. "It's hard for a college basketball team to go through, so I knew that we needed to stay on them, to our guys credit, the guys just dug in and made some plays."
Portland (15-7, 6-1) took over and blew out the Gaels in a big way, rolling on a 22-3 run to grab a 36-27 advantage.
The Pilots erased the 10-point deficit with a 13-3 burst that was capped by Kramer Knutson's layup off a pass from T.J. Campbell.
They then went on to score nine straight points behind 3-point baskets by Jared Stohl, Campbell and Raivio.
Raivio, a 6-4 junior guard, and the Pilots poured it on in the second half, turning the game into a laugher.
Raivio made three baskets to open the second half and the lead ballooned to 42-30. Stohl's 3-point shot with 4:10 remaining gave Portland its biggest advantage at 76-54 and garbage time ensued.
Raivio finished with 27 points on 11-of-19 from the field. Stohl added 18 points, shooting 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The Pilots hit 32-of-54 from the field (59 percent), including 11-of-18 from long range (61 percent).
Next up for Portland is perennial WCC power Gonzaga on February 5.
"It's great to be in this position, I told the team that they should just enjoy this, feel confident and feel good about being good," Reveno said. "But we need to remember why we're good, and remember how we got here. We just got to keep grinding, but at the same time you want to appreciate where you're at and what you've accomplished.
"You can do both ? you can appreciate what you've accomplished and still be greedy and ask for more. We have our work cut out for us Thursday night, I hear Gonzaga is pretty good (laughing). We're not going to surprise them, or sneak up on anybody anymore. We just have to keep doing what we're doing."
Omar Samhan led St. Mary's with 18 points.
The Gaels had a poor shooting night, connecting on only 19-of-48 (39 percent), including 5-of-17 (29 percent) from long range.
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