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No 21 Saint Mary’s routs Portland 74-33

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Calvin Hermanson scored a career-high 27 points and No. 21 Saint Mary’s shut down the Portland Pilots for a 74-33 victory Thursday night.

Jock Landale added eight points and 10 rebounds for the Gaels (15-1, 5-0 West Coast Conference), who led by as many as 44 points. Evan Fitzner also had eight points. Hermanson was the only Gael in double figures.

Alec Wintering, who leads the conference with an average of 21 points a game, was held to just four points for the Pilots (9-6, 2-1). Jazz Johnson led Portland with 13 points.

The Pilots’ lowest-ever point total was 27 points, in a 43-27 loss to Pacific Lutheran in 1947-48.

The Gaels arrived in Portland on Wednesday night following an unusual snowstorm that dumped as many as 14 inches on parts of the city. With little melting on Thursday during the day, and freezing temperatures after the sun went down, the game was sparsely attended.

The Pilots had already postposed a game against No. 5 Gonzaga, which was set for last Saturday night at Chiles Center, because of an earlier storm in Portland.

Portland announced Thursday that the game against the Bulldogs was rescheduled for Jan. 23 at the Chiles Center.

The Pilots are playing their first season under former NBA player and coach Terry Porter. His son, Franklin, Porter’s oldest son, played as a freshman at Saint Mary’s but transferred to Portland to play for his dad and is redshirting this season.

Saint Mary’s has won 11 of the last 12 meetings, with the lone loss coming during the 2015 WCC Tournament quarterfinals. Joe Rahon’s layup with 2.7 seconds left gave Saint Mary’s a 74-72 victory at Chiles Center last year.

The Gaels’ only loss this season came at home against Texas-Arlington on Dec. 8. They were coming off a 63-52 win at San Francisco last Saturday.

Saint Mary’s took a 14-2 lead after Emmett Naar’s 3-pointer. Hermanson’s layup extended the lead to 24-4.

Wintering hit a jumper that ended a scoring drought of more than 4 minutes for the Pilots, but they still trailed 29-9. Portland would not score again and the Gaels led 37-9 at halftime.

The Pilots’ point total matched the low for a half this season in Division I.

Hermanson, who is from the Portland area and went to Lake Oswego High School, led all scorers with 17 points in the first half. His 3-pointer put the Gaels up 45-12 early in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels remain atop the WCC standings with one more game played than Gonzaga, which beat Loyola Marymount 93-55 on Thursday night to remain the nation’s only undefeated Division I basketball team. The Bulldogs are 16-0 overall and 4-0 in the WCC. The teams meet Saturday.

Portland: The Pilots were coming off a 70-42 loss at Santa Clara. … Center Philip Hartwich sustained a concussion in the first half and did not return.

ABOUT THOSE ZAGS:

Portland’s postponed game against Gonzaga was a sellout. Tickets purchased for the original game will be honored on Jan. 23, and fans who cannot attend the rescheduled game will be offered a ticket to a future game, based on availability. The Pilots said Thursday that it is expected that the rescheduled game will be televised, but details have not yet been worked out.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels visit Gonzaga on Saturday in a showdown of the league’s top two teams.

Portland: The Pilots host Loyola Marymount on Saturday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.