Portland vs Saint Louis

No. 23 Saint Louis 73, Portland 53


ST. LOUIS -- Portland lost by 24 to top-ranked Kentucky last week. Pilots coach Eric Reveno believes No. 23 Saint Louis is better.

"We've played some good teams and they're the most skilled and toughest team that we've probably played in terms of execution and just good basketball," Reveno said after Saint Louis' 73-53 victory on Saturday night.

"Would they win at Kentucky? I'm not going to say that. Looking at them I'm thinking `That's a good team,' and unfortunately they're doing it to us."

Brian Conklin made all seven of his shots with a strong inside game and scored 19 points, helping No. 23 Saint Louis beat Portland 73-53 in its first home game as a ranked team since 1994 on Saturday night.

"It always helps when you don't miss," Conklin said.

Cody Ellis had 16 points off the bench and Kyle Cassity and Mike McCall added 10 apiece for the Billikens (7-1), who had a 25-3 run in the first half and led by 26 early in the second. Those three combined for Saint Louis' seven 3-pointers, with Cassity going 3 for 5.

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"The 3s were big," coach Rick Majerus said. "We had the right people taking them, too. We were patient."

The Billikens could drop out of the Top 25 after losing at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday night in their fourth game in six days, but have a good chance to beef up the record with the next five also at home against beatable opponents.

"We couldn't really care less about rankings," Ellis said. "We've got to come out and play the same way whether we're 23rd or 300th in the country. Play the same every game."

Majerus blamed fatigue for Saint Louis' lone loss and thought players still were a bit weary. It didn't show on the court.

"I felt like I had my legs back," Conklin said. "We went short but hard the last couple practices leading up to this game, it was more just a mental game, focusing on what we needed to do strategy-wise.

"We know we can run up and down the floor, we know we can put the ball in the basket."

Thomas van der Mars had 12 points before fouling out with 6:30 remaining for Portland (3-5), which has lost five of six. Nemania Mitrovic, the Pilots' leading scorer with an 11.9-point average, was held to two points on 1-for-6 shooting.

Ellis, Saint Louis' sixth man, didn't play a minute due to defensive concerns in the school's loss at Loyola Marymount.

"Over the offseason, during preseason, defense has been the main emphasis of what I needed to improve on," Ellis said. "I'm getting more minutes because I'm able to defend people now."

Portland committed 12 of its 16 turnovers in the first half, and also missed five of its first six from the free throw line. Portland's 16 first-half points and the final total were both season worsts.

All five of Saint Louis' first-half 3-pointers came in the 25-3 run that made it 37-12 with just under two minutes to go, and the Billikens led 38-16 at the break.

Portland was in it the first 10½ minutes, trailing 12-9, but was down 37-12 after Mike McCall's 3-pointer with 1:52 to go. The Pilots were 1 for 6 at the free throw line, committed 12 turnovers and got off only 17 shots against Saint Louis' half-court pressure.

"They found their offensive footing sooner than we did," Reveno said. "The bottom kind of fell out a little bit and they just got really comfortable."

Nemanja Mitrovic, Portland's leading scorer with an 11.9-point average, was scoreless in the first half and finished with two points on 1-for-6 shooting.

Portland had one turnover the first eight minutes of the second half, helping cut the deficit to 15 at 50-35. Ryan Nicholas and Tanner Riley added 11 apiece for the Pilots.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Portland (3-5)163753
Saint Louis #23 (7-1) «383573
PORT:T. van der Mars 12 Pts
PORT:R. Nicholas 4 Reb
PORT:T. Douglas 3 Ast
STLOU:B. Conklin 19 Pts
STLOU:J. Jett 7 Reb
STLOU:K. Mitchell 4 Ast

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PortlandSaint Louis
Thomas van der Mars
Brian Conklin
Portland Pilots
R. Nicholas, F305-81-341311
T. Douglas, G282-56-713010
D. Rodgers, G241-40-01222
N. Mitrovic, G221-60-03102
T. van der Mars, C225-72-540512
T. Riley, G254-70-000111
D. Cason, F170-11-23031
K. Bailey, G132-40-02054
E. Waterford, G110-10-01000
J. Bailey, F30-00-00000
D. Carr, G30-00-00000
R. Barker, CDid Not Play
K. Thieleke, GDid Not Play
T. Mossman, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-4310-171971953
Saint Louis Billikens
K. Cassity, G303-61-143010
K. Mitchell, G302-80-02424
B. Conklin, F257-75-650419
D. Evans, F232-33-42227
R. Loe, F140-12-23122
M. McCall, G214-50-012110
J. Jett, G202-61-37105
C. Ellis, F165-104-610316
C. Remekun, F110-10-01000
J. Barnett, F40-10-00010
J. Manning, C40-00-01010
G. Glaze, F20-00-01000
B. Daly, GDid Not Play
G. Gehlen, FDid Not Play
J. Remke, FDid Not Play
E. Tselentakis, GDid Not Play
Totals 25-4816-2228131573
West Coast
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
San Diego0-04-0169
St. Marys0-04-052
San Fran.0-03-1310
Santa Clara0-01-2301

Atlantic 10
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Saint Louis0-03-142
Rhode Island0-02-117
Saint Josephs0-02-155
St. Bona.0-02-1327
George Mason0-03-3199
La Salle0-03-3123
Geo. Wash.0-02-2233
Other games
NC 72 Final
Kentucky 73
Iowa St 66 Final
Michigan 76
UTRGV 35 Final
Ohio St 64
Purdue 63 Final
XAV 66
Arkansas 62 Final
UConn 75
GONZ 75 Final
Illinois 82
MU 61 Final
Wisc 54
PITT 61 Final
Tenn 56
S Florida 42 Final
Kansas 70
SFA 42 Final
Tx A&M 55
Aus Peay 60 Final
Memphis 91
W Virg 62 Final
Miss St 75