Three-point Spurt Propels Pilots
LMU sees Portland hit five straight three pointers in a late second half stretch to earn WCC victory.
Jan. 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- After LMU erased a seven-point deficit, Portland used a stretch of perfect three-point shooting to pull away from the Lions to earn a 71-57 win in West Coast Conference action on Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion.
All 10 players scored for a balanced Portland attack, including Bobby Sharp with 14 points, hitting 4-for-5 from three. Kevin Bailey added 13 and Ryan Nicholas had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Ireland and Evan Payne had 14 each for the Lions, while Alex Osborne had nine points and 10 rebounds.
"We knew going in that if we didn't force their shooters to pass they could really hurt us, and sure enough, they did," said Head Coach Max Good. "This team is very hard working and it showed in erasing that halftime deficit. Their shooters got hot and give them credit, they are a good basketball team."
The win for the Pilots (11-7, 3-3) gave the Lions (10-9, 2-5) their first home setback.
LMU used a 11-2 to start the second half, overcoming a 36-29 halftime deficit, taking a 40-38 lead on Ireland's three-pointer with 17:33 to play.
From there, Portland's defense would tighten and their three-point shooting would get hot. They would start 1-for-7 from long range but would go five-for-five from long range in 20-4 run over a seven minute span to take a 14-point lead. Payne's lay-in with 8:14 to play would end the run and would be just the second LMU field goal since Ireland's three-pointer.
Portland finished the game hitting 6-for-12 from the three-point line and 47.1 percent (24-for-51) from the field overall. The Lions, who shot just 28 percent in the first half, finished shooting just 32.3 percent on the game, 16.7 percent from three (3-for-18).
The Lions continue their home stand with league-leader Gonzaga on Saturday, Jan. 18 in the WCC Game of the Week at 1 pm.
NOTE: Ireland surpassed Jeff Fryer for sixth all-time in LMU history, moving to 1,932 points.