PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Logan Johnson had 34 points, six rebounds and six assists as No. 15 Saint Mary’s handled Portland 81-64 on the road Saturday.
Alex Ducas added 18 points and six rebounds for the Gaels (22-5, 11-1 West Coast Conference) and Aidan Mahaney contributed 10 points and five assists.
Kristian Sjolund led the Pilots (13-15, 5-8) with 12 points, and Juan Gorosito and Tyler Robinson each added 10 points.
The Gaels took a 39-38 lead into halftime after a back-and-forth first half. They began the second half on a 16-0 run to blow the game open and never trailed again.
”Sometimes, you’ve got to make shots,” Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett said of the second-half turnaround. ”We came out and banged a few threes, separated, gave us a little wiggle room. You don’t feel like every possession is for the game.”
Johnson took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Pilots’ defense to take over on offense, while the Gaels’ defense improved.
”We started playing our brand of basketball,” Johnson said. ”Started getting stops, consecutive stops, rebounding, not allowing offensive boards. When we do that, when we play to our strengths, there’s not a lot of teams that can have the capacity to keep going and keep trying to attack that. It gets frustrating and you start to see it on their faces.”
Saint Mary’s was fueled in its run by hot 3-point shooting, going 15 of 32 (46.9%) from beyond the arc and outrebounded Portland 41-22.
Saint Mary’s: Visits San Diego on Thursday.
Portland: Hosts Santa Clara on Saturday.
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