Santa Clara meets Portland in WCC tourney

No. 10 seed Portland (9-22, 1-15) vs. No. 7 seed Santa Clara (19-12, 6-10)

West Coast Conference Tourney First Round, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas; Thursday, 11 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Portland and Santa Clara are set to do battle in the opening round of the WCC tournament. Santa Clara won both of the regular season matchups earlier this season. The teams last faced each other on Feb. 29, when the Broncos shot 45.3 percent from the field on the way to a 73-68 victory.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: DJ Mitchell is averaging 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds to lead the charge for the Broncos. Keshawn Justice has paired with Mitchell and is producing 9.2 points per game. The Pilots are led by JoJo Walker, who is averaging 11.4 points.JUMPING FOR JOJO: Walker has connected on 32.7 percent of the 150 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 20 over his last three games. He’s also converted 68.9 percent of his free throws this season.


WINNING WHEN: The Broncos are 7-0 when they make 11 or more 3-pointers and 12-12 when they fall shy of that mark. The Pilots are 5-0 when they hold opponents to 60 points or fewer and 4-22 when opponents exceed 60 points.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Pilots have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Broncos. Santa Clara has 28 assists on 69 field goals (40.6 percent) over its previous three matchups while Portland has assists on 42 of 66 field goals (63.6 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Santa Clara is ranked second in the WCC with an average of 72.2 possessions per game.


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