Game #9-104: Lewis & Clark at Portland PilotsNovember 27, 2012 10:00 pm
If you were to just see the score of the Pilots' game last night against Division III Lewis and Clark you might think Portland barely avoided the dreaded Black Line Upset with a 78-73 win. While it's true the score was close the Pilots have a lot of positives to look at after the game.
First, a little about Lewis and Clark College. They're located on top of a hill in Portland south of the city center in a quiet residential neighborhood. Like many Division III schools they are known more for academics than their athletics but they do have a mascot I think is unique. The first thing a visitor to their website
will notice is the black dog in the LC logo. Since Lewis & Clark's nickname is the Pioneers the connection is not obvious. It's actually supposed to represent Meriwether Lewis' dog, which made it through the entire Lewis & Clark expedition. Now that I know what it is I like this nod to history.
The Pioneers had a 3-0 record against other small colleges going into the Portland game and had scored 99, 81, and 77 points in those three games. In his second season as head coach Dinari Foreman was building a squad that was able to score well enough. The Pilots, on the other hand, have looked a little hesitant on offense at times. It would be interesting to see if they could make progress in that area.
The scoring started with a Thomas van der Mars jump shot and a David Carr layup, giving the Pilots a four-point lead after 85 seconds. Then LC's Quentin Sims made his first superhoop, cutting the lead to one. The Pilots then pushed the lead to 6 after five minutes when Sims hit another superhoop. Three empty possessions later and the Pilots actually trailed by a point. The remaining 12:37 of the half was spent with the teams trading baskets, with Portland having the last word to tie the score at 36 going into halftime.
Ordinarily a tie game against a team well below the Black Line would be cause for quite a bit of concern, maybe even #PANIC, to use Season 8 author Brendan Loy's favorite words. However, it should be noted that final 12:37 was played with mostly Pilot reserves. Most of Portland's starters are clear choices over their counterparts on the bench, to put it delicately. It seemed to me coach Eric Reveno was using this game as a chance for the reserves to gain game experience and confidence and it seemed to work to me. The offense didn't completely bog down as it had in previous games. Certainly they held their own against the Pioneers, as the tied halftime score showed.
The second half took on the same kind of pattern that the start of the game followed. Portland would get out to a lead of 5 or 6 points, then LC would make a basket, usually superhoop, to cut the deficit. The Pilots were again relying heavily on the reserves, who were able to maintain the lead down the stretch and remain undefeated at home.
Lewis & Clark, for their part, had a nice collection of guards who will help make the Pioneers a quality squad. Sims made five superhoops on the night, Serg Ovchinnikov made three, and Ross Erickson led all scorers with 24. Their next home game is Satuday against a conference opponent and I think I'll check out how they perform against competition in their own division. For the Pilots Ryan Nicholas just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Kevin Bailey added another 12 points. More importantly was the play of backup point guard Derrick Rodgers. He had 11 points, 4 assists, and no turnovers in 26 minutes. Point guard was a big question mark going into this season and while David Carr is probably better as a starter a quality backup will be good to have.
Although the score was closer than expected the Pilots did a lot well last night. If they can learn from this game and apply it on the road at Washington State this weekend they may be able to finally add a road win to their perfect home record in the new season. at PORTLAND 78, LEWIS & CLARK 73
PORTLAND 3-3 (0-0) -- K. Thieleke 3-8 1-2 7; D. Rodgers 4-8 3-4 11; R. Nicholas 5-11 2-4 12; K. Bailey 3-6 4-4 12; T. van der Mars 3-4 0-0 6; T. Riley 2-2 0-0 4; D. Carr 3-4 0-0 6; J. Bailey 1-5 2-2 4; J. Ehlers 2-4 2-2 6; O. Reinfelds 2-3 2-2 8; B. Pressley 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 29-57 16-20 78.
Three-point goals: - , PORT 4-13 (D. Rodgers 0-2; K. Thieleke 0-4; R. Nicholas 0-1; K. Bailey 2-2; D. Carr 0-1; B. Pressley 0-1; O. Reinfelds 2-2); Rebounds: , PORT 27 (R. Nicholas 9); Assists: , PORT 16 (D. Rodgers 4); Total Fouls -- , PORT 14; Fouled Out: -; PORT-None.