Santa Clara looks to extend streak vs Portland
Portland (9-21, 1-14) vs. Santa Clara (18-12, 5-10)
Leavey Center, Santa Clara, California; Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Santa Clara looks for its 10th straight win in the head-to-head series over Portland. In its last nine wins against the Pilots, Santa Clara has won by an average of 13 points. Portland’s last win in the series came on Feb. 7, 2015, a 74-54 victory.
TEAM LEADERS: DJ Mitchell is putting up 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds to lead the way for the Broncos. Keshawn Justice has complemented Mitchell and is accounting for 8.8 points per game. The Pilots have been led by JoJo Walker, who is averaging 11.4 points.JUMPING FOR JOJO: Walker has connected on 33.3 percent of the 144 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 11 of 31 over his last five games. He’s also made 68.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
COLD SPELLS: Portland has dropped its last eight road games, scoring 67.5 points and allowing 82 points during those contests. Santa Clara has lost its last five home games, scoring an average of 70 points while giving up 78.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Pilots have recently converted baskets via assists more often than the Broncos. Santa Clara has 36 assists on 72 field goals (50 percent) over its past three matchups while Portland has assists on 38 of 63 field goals (60.3 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Santa Clara is rated second in the WCC with an average of 72.4 possessions per game.