Gaels Pick up Win Number 20 in Portland
Mahaney leads the way with 19 points. And the nation’s longest active winning streak belongs to Saint Mary’s.
The Saint Mary's Gaels (20-6, 11-0 WCC) picked up consecutive win number 12 on Saturday night in Portland, downing the Portland Pilots (9-17, 3-8 WCC) 76-51. The Gaels drained more than half of their shots from beyond the arc, en route to a win that kept the nation's longest active winning streak alive. The Gaels have now recorded 20+ wins in 16 consecutive seasons, not including the COVID-19 shortened 2020–21 campaign.
Saint Mary's stockpiled the threes in the first half, sinking six of them and racking up a 12 point lead going into the halftime break. It was the most threes by the Gaels in a half since their eight in the first half at San Francisco earlier this year. Augustas Marciulionis led the Gaels with 14 points, nine of which came from beyond the arc. Marciulionis also dished out a team-high three assists with no turnovers. The Gaels out-rebounded the Pilots 23–14 at the break, led by Joshua Jefferson and Alex Ducas, each with five. The Pilots were able to keep the Gaels within striking distance, due to their ball security, as Saint Mary's only forced two turnovers in the first frame.
Second Half Belonged to Mahaney
The Gaels continued to take the opportunities that the Pilots gave them in the second half, shooting better than 40% from the field and better than 35% from three in the second frame. Saint Mary's also limited fouls and turnovers in the second half, helping build the 25 point victory margin.
The second half belonged to Aidan Mahaney, who scored 13 of his game-high 19 after the halftime break, as well as a team-high four rebounds in the second frame. Luke Barrett and Mason Forbes each chipped in seven second half points off the bench. Alex Ducas had six points and four boards in the frame, and Augustas Marciulionis was held scoreless, but he dished out five second half assists.
Aidan Mahaney led all scorers with 19 points, burying five triples and ripping down seven rebounds. Not far behind Mahaney was his starting backcourt mate, Augustas Marciulionis, who finished with 14 points and eight assists to just one turnover. Alex Ducas dropped 12 and a team-high nine rebounds, while Luke Barrett and Joshua Jefferson each chipped in 10 total. The Gaels drained 14 threes, their second most since the start of WCC play, and had less than 10 turnovers for the sixth consecutive game.
Double Digit Triples
For the sixth time this season, the Gaels buried 10 or more three pointers in a single game, cashing in 14 shots from beyond the arc. Aidan Mahaney led the Gaels with five made threes, while Alex Ducas made four, Augustas Marciulionis made three, and Luke Barrett had two. The game was also the second this season in which the Gaels took more shots from beyond the arc than from inside the arc, with the first also coming in the 16 made three pointer game against Portland in Moraga.
In four career matchups with Portland, Aidan Mahaney has proven to be a difficult matchup for the Pilots. Mahaney has averaged 17.3 points per game and shot 51% from the field and 49% from three against Portland. Against the Pilots, he has also racked up single game career-highs in points scored (25) and three pointers made (7). Portland now joins Santa Clara as teams that the Gaels are 4–0 against since Mahaney has joined the squad. Depending on how matchups against San Diego and San Francisco go later this season, two more could join that list.
Twenty Consecutive Wins
As noted, with tonight's win, the Gaels moved to 20 wins for the 16th consecutive season (not including the COVID shortened 20–21 season in which the Gaels only played 24 games). No team in the state of California can claim a longer streak of consecutive 20 win seasons. Since the 2010–11 season, Saint Mary's 347 wins ranks eighth most in all of NCAA Division I College Basketball, and second best in California, behind only San Diego State (357).
UP NEXT: The Gaels will return home after their three game road trip to take on Pepperinde on Thursday, February 15. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. inside UCU Pavilion.
READ MORE: This story as it appears at SMCGaels.com
Story updated February 11, 2024 at 10:45 a.m.