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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chiles Center (4,852) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: CSN-NW. Home Record: San Francisco 7-4. Portland 6-4. Away Record: San Francisco 1-4, Portland 1-7. Neutral Record: San Francisco 0-3, Portland 1-1. Conference Record: San Francisco 1-5, Portland 1-4. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 47-25.
GAMES NOTES: After snapping a five-game losing streak last time out the San Francisco Dons take to the road to face the Portland Pilots in a West Coast Conference bout at the Chiles Center.
A 62-53 win over Loyola Marymount last Saturday allowed San Francisco to get out of the rut it had dug itself into in the five previous contests. The win was also the first in six tries against league opponents and has the Dons at 8-11 overall.
Marred by offensive struggles the Pilots have lost four of their last five contests, including a 60-38 rout at the hands of Saint Mary's last Saturday. With the loss Portland has fallen to 8-12 overall and like San Francisco the Pilots have just a single win in their five conference games.
Last season San Francisco swept the season series and then took Portland out of the WCC Tournament with an 87-66 victory. The Dons have largely dominated the all-time series with a 47-25 record against Portland.
San Francisco didn't have a ton of success offensively speaking against Loyola Marymount but its efforts on defense allowed the Dons to win. San Francisco held the Lions to just 28.3 percent shooting, while outscoring them 21-6 from beyond the arc to earn the victory.
On the season San Francisco has fought to just about even in terms of its scoring margin which stands at a slim +0.1. Cole Dickerson (14.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg) has been as sturdy a frontcourt contributor as there is. The 6-foot-7 forward is the leading scorer on the roster and has picked up eight double- double on the season although none in the last five games. In the backcourt Cody Doolin (12.5 ppg, 5.7 apg) and De'End Parker (12.1 ppg) have also been solid scoring threats with Doolin also fourth in the conference in assists.
Portland had a miserable offensive night against Saint Mary's. The Pilots managed to shoot just n23.3 percent from the floor while collecting just 10 total field goals. That included a ghastly 3-of-19 performance from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Offense has not come easily for Portland this season, especially in league play where the Pilots have failed to score more than 50 points in four of five contests. Overall Portland is putting in only 59.9 points per game, while shooting 41.1 percent from the field. Those are both the lowest marks in the conference. Ryan Nicholas (12.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster but has not been efficient in doing so. Nicholas is shooting at just a 39.9 percent clip this season. Kevin Bailey (11.9 ppg) is the only other player on the roster scoring more than 6.5 points per game.
Both Nicholas and Dickerson have been exposed since entering WCC play. While those two battle on the frontline it will come down to which team has the better supporting cast. San Francisco has the edge there with Parker and Doolin.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 68, Portland 64
01/24 10:35:57 ET
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