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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chiles Center (4,852) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: Columbia 1-1, Portland 2-0. Away Record: Columbia 0-1, Portland 0-2. Neutral Record: Columbia 0-1, Portland 0-0. Conference Record: Columbia 0-0, Portland 0-0. Series Record: Columbia leads, 1-0..
GAME NOTES: The Columbia Lions and Portland Pilots will try to build upon their victories on Thursday as they collide in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Chiles Center on Friday evening.
Making its first appearance since a near upset of the now No. 1 Michigan State, Columbia came out firing against North Texas on Thursday as it connected on 11-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc to pull off to an early lead over North Texas. The Lions cooled off in the second stanza, but hit on 42.3 percent of their field goal attempts to keep the Mean Green at bay and improve to 2-2. Columbia will take on Idaho on Saturday in the final stage of the round-robin field.
The Pilots had no trouble on Thursday as they took on the Vandals and outscored them at the free-throw line on the night, 31-15. Portland also finished with a 41-36 rebounding advantage en route to an 88-74 win. Portland began its season with a victory over UC Davis before suffering back-to-back losses to Oregon State and Michigan State on the road. The Pilots will take on the Mean Green on Saturday.
This will be the second meeting in history between these schools. Columbia owns a 1-0 all-time series lead.
Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins led the way for Columbia versus UNT, scoring 23 and 18 points, respectively. The duo accounted for nine of the team's 12 makes from 3-point range as well. The Lions have scored at least 70 points in three of their four games with the only exception being their loss in East Lansing. They are doing a good job on the glass to average 3.2 more rebounds per game than their opposition, but are not quite as aggressive as they have attempted 75 shots from the free-throw line compared to 111 tries by their foes. Mullins is pacing the team in the scoring column at 13.5 ppg and Lo is close behind with 12.8 ppg. Isaac Cohen is a key player for Columbia as well with averages of eight points, 5.8 rebounds and three assists in only 19.5 minutes per outing.
Thomas van der Mars posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pilots' collective effort versus the Vandals on Thursday. Portland also had four other players score in double-figures. Alec Wintering finished with 14 points, Ryan Nicholas added 12 points and Bryce Pressley and Riley Barker each chipped in with 10 points. Portland did a great deal of damage at the charity stripe, where it converted 31-of-38 attempts. Nicholas grabbed nine rebounds and Barker anchored the interior with four blocked shots. On the season, Nicholas is averaging team-highs with 16 points and 8.5 boards per tilt while Bailey is the second-leading scorer with 15.3 ppg. Sixth man Bobby Sharp is chiming in with 11.5 ppg.
These teams are evenly matched, but the homecourt advantage will give the Pilots a slight edge. If Van Der Mars continues to play with aggression to make frequent visits to the free-throw line, Portland will be much more dangerous as it will have four legitimate scorers and strong balance on the offensive end. Columbia will need to shoot the lights out again to keep its success in the City of Roses going.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland 72, Columbia 68
11/22 10:34:33 ET
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