Game #9-392: Pepperdine Waves at Portland PilotsFebruary 9, 2013 4:00 pm
After their win against Loyola Marymount it seemed as if the Pilots might have turned things around. They had shot the ball well, especially from superhoop range. They also got a good game from starting center Thomas van der Mars when another inside player to complement Ryan Nicholas had been lacking most of the season. They should have had no trouble beating Pepperdine if they could put together a similar performance.
Unfortunately the Pilots reverted back to the team they've been most of the season: one that has trouble scoring. Pepperdine had gotten out to an eight-point lead in the first half, but Portland came all the way back to lead by three at halftime, 29-26. Five minutes into the second half the Pilots actually led by eight but the Waves went on a 12-2 run to take a 41-39 lead with 10:23 to play. From there the teams stayed within three points of each other. Ryan Nicholas hit a superhoop with 20 seconds to go that tied the game at 60. In the overtime, however, Portland missed their first four field goal attempts and Pepperdine came out a 72-68 winner.
The Pilots may have had all five starters in double figures but the offense still wasn't very effective. Thomas van der Mars had 12 points and 13 rebounds, which sounds good until you see that he was 6-17 from the field. Kevin Bailey and Derrick Rodgers were 5-15 and 4-14 respectively. The starter with the best shooting percentage was Bryce Pressley at 4-6. Portland actually had fewer turnovers than Pepperdine until late in regulation and overtime, which of course means they started turning it over at the worst times. And instead of taking outside shots they were back to their usual practice of standing at the three-point line looking to pass. By now teams know there are very few shooters on the Pilots so they can focus on defending the post players, making it even more difficult for Portland to score.
Pepperdine, on the other hand, got a big game out of senior guard Lorne Jackson. He's the kind of guard Portland needs, who can drive to the basket or pull up. He also scored seven of his team's 12 points in overtime, including five made free throws. Portland doesn't really have a versatile player they can look to in key situations like Jackson.
The Pilots now go on the road for games at San Francisco and BYU, neither of which is the best place to get their game turned around. With the regular season running down though, they don't have much choice.
PEPPERDINE 72, at PORTLAND 68
PEPPERDINE 11-13 (3-8) -- J. Brooks 3-9 0-0 6; L. Jackson 6-15 9-10 22; J. Baker 3-15 3-5 12; N. Skouen 4-7 1-2 12; M. De Freitas 3-6 0-1 6; S. Davis 5-7 1-2 11; J. Raines 3-7 0-0 6; A. Mills 1-3 0-0 3; J. Maehlen 0-0 0-0 0; A. Russell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 14-20 72.
PORTLAND 9-17 (2-9) -- R. Nicholas 3-7 3-4 11; D. Rodgers 4-12 9-11 17; T. van der Mars 6-17 0-0 12; K. Bailey 5-15 2-2 12; B. Pressley 4-6 1-3 10; T. Riley 0-6 0-0 0; O. Reinfelds 0-3 0-0 0; R. Barker 0-3 2-2 2; K. Thieleke 1-2 0-0 2; J. Ehlers 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-72 17-22 68.
Three-point goals: PEPP 8-16 (L. Jackson 1-4; J. Baker 3-6; N. Skouen 3-4; A. Mills 1-2), PORT 3-13 (T. Riley 0-5; R. Nicholas 2-3; K. Bailey 0-3; B. Pressley 1-1; O. Reinfelds 0-1); Rebounds: PEPP 33 (M. De Freitas 9), PORT 47 (R. Nicholas 13); Assists: PEPP 13 (L. Jackson 6), PORT 14 (D. Rodgers 7); Total Fouls -- PEPP 20, PORT 19; Fouled Out: PEPP-None; PORT-None.