Portland, Oregon---The Portland Pilots used some hot shooting and took advantage of some key Loyola Marymount turnovers on Thursday night to defeat the Loyola Marymount Lions, 69-60.
For the game, the Pilots shot 56 percent from the field, including 11-16 on 3 point tries. It was a much needed win for the Portland team, coming into the game with a 1-8 WCC record, the same record as Loyola Marymount.
The Pilots were led in scoring by junior forward Ryan Nicholas, who had a stellar night on offense with 21 points, including 5 for 5 from the 3 point line. "I felt good tonight with my shot, lots of confidence and I need to do the same each game on out," said Nicholas outside of a happy Pilot locker room after the game.
Coach Eric Reveno was also pleased with his Pilots, especially the defense. "Our defense got us going and I think it really helped us on the offensive end to make some good decisions and good shot selection. When you play solid defense and shoot the ball well, it usually means a victory," said Reveno.
Leading scorer for the Lions was Anthony Ireland, the do it all point guard, who had 21 points and four assists, but was held in check in the second half by the strong Pilot defense. With the win, Portland moves to 2-8 in WCC play, 9-16 overall. Loyola, continues to struggle and drops to 1-9 in league play, 8-15 on the season.
Craw's Notes---Reveno has a couple of big time smiles during the game, as it appeared he was often pleased with his team's effort on the floor....Nicholas made two huge offensive plays down the stretch, hitting a 3-pointer at the 1:09 mark and two clutch free throws with 30 seconds to go....While the crowd of 1,375 will not set any attendance records for Chiles Center, it was somewhat pleasantly surprising considering the way the Pilots have played as of late and it being Thursday night, hats off to everyone for coming out to the game.....Portland is next in action on Saturday, against Pepperdine, who on Thursday night was beaten badly by Gonzaga in Spokane.....The game time on Saturday will be 1:00 pm, an odd time for the Pilots, but let's see how attendance goes, as all I hear around Portland is the fact people want more matinee games at both U of Portland and Portland State, so show up if you do.
Craw's MVP---Tough one here, but I think Tanner Riley edges out Ryan Nicholas for Thursday night's MVP. Both players were stellar, but I give the edge to Riley for his defense, which often disrupted the Loyola offense, his 17 points in just 24 minutes and his courage, plus heart in the way he played the game, coming off a two game suspension for his actions in the BYU game on January 26th. Hats off to both Riley and Nicholas, for holding the team together all night.