Three-Pointer Gives Lions Heartbreaker
With less than a minute to play, Pilots drill 11th three-pointer on their way to a 69-60 win at Portland Thursday.
Feb. 7, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- Portland drilled 11 three-pointers, hitting nearly 70 percent from long range, to lift them to a 69-60 win over LMU in West Coast Conference action on Thursday night at the Chiles Center.
The Pilots (9-16, 2-8) entered the game last in the WCC in three-point shooting at 29.5 percent, but buried 11-for-16 from long range, their best effort the season, to pull away in the final minute. The Lions (8-15, 1-9) hit 55 percent from long range, but were just 5-for-9.
Anthony Ireland, despite posting a fever earlier in the day, scored a game-high 21 points. Ryan Nicholas matched Ireland's 21, hitting 5-for-5 from the three-point line, including the Pilots 11th three of the game with 1:11 to play to put the game out of reach.
"We didn't close out well enough all night, and Portland made us pay," said Head Coach Max Good. "Ireland played his heart out and probably shouldn't have gotten out of bed. But we just didn't do what we needed to in key moments defensively down the stretch. Nicholas and Tanner Riley looked like all-league players tonight."
Riley added 17 points for the Pilots, hitting 4-for-5 from long range. Thomas van der Mars had 14 points and seven rebounds.
LMU finished 46.8 percent from the field while the Pilots finished 56.1 percent, their best shooting effort in conference and second best on the season.
"We were shooting well for the night, but once again hit a stretch where we struggled," said Good. With the game tied at 52, the Lions went over four minutes without a point, going 0-for-4 from the field with three turnovers and a missed free throw.
The Pilots would take just a four-point lead in that stretch, and senior walk-on guard Taylor Walker would score on a drive, cutting the lead to 56-54 with 3:32 to play. Walker came off the bench to score seven points, four rebounds in 21 minutes.
However, Riley would drain a three to answer just 20 seconds later for a 59-54 lead. Walker would get the lead to a pair again on another lay-in, making it 60-58 with 1:52 to play. That's when Nicholas drained his fifth three to put the game out of reach.
The Lions road trip continues when they head to No. 6 Gonzaga on Saturday for a 5 pm tipoff. The game will be on KXLU 88.9 FM and Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
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