MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Jordan Ford tied his career high with 20 points, including 16 in the first half, and No. 16 Saint Mary’s set a school record with its 16th straight victory by beating Portland 72-55 on Saturday night.
The Gaels (21-2, 10-0 West Coast Conference) never trailed and led by as many as 24 to stay unbeaten in conference play while eclipsing the 2008-09 team for most consecutive wins.
Emmett Naar had 10 points and six assists, and Calvin Hermanson scored 16 while leading a Saint Mary’s barrage from the perimeter. Hermanson made four 3-pointers on a night when the Gaels went 12 of 23 beyond the arc — the sixth time this season they’ve hit 10 or more.
That was critical on a night when WCC leading scorer Jock Landale wasn’t much of a factor offensively after scoring 32 points in each of his previous two games.
Landale had six points on 2-of-4 shooting with 11 rebounds while facing 7-foot-2 Portland center Philipp Hartwich most of the night. Hartwich, the league’s leading shot blocker, was held scoreless and had seven rebounds.
Saint Mary’s led by 24 in the second half before Portland made a run. JoJo Walker hit a pair of 3-pointers and Marcus Shaver Jr. added five points to pull the Pilots to 50-35 with 13 minutes left.
Hermanson followed with a 3, Naar added back-to-back buckets and Landale made two free throws as Saint Mary’s pulled away.
Walker finished with 15 points for Portland (8-15, 2-8).
With No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 13 Ohio State both losing this week, Saint Mary’s could move up a spot or two in next week’s rankings.
Portland: The Pilots did a good job keeping Landale out of the offensive mix for Saint Mary’s, but their own offense was sporadic most of the game. It’s another lesson for coach Terry Porter’s young team, which was coming off a 16-point loss to No. 15 Gonzaga.
Saint Mary’s: The Gaels have looked extremely strong in two wins since beating Gonzaga to take control of the WCC. The best part for coach Randy Bennett’s team is that Saint Mary’s won despite Landale’s slow night. It was the first time Landale was held under double digits since Feb. 18 last season.
Portland: The Pilots host Pepperdine on Thursday.
Saint Mary’s: Hosts San Francisco on Thursday.
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