Pilots snap four game skid, defeat LMU

By Sal Aversa | February 11, 2017 5:55pm

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by Kristen Garcia / The Beacon

A 30-point fourth quarter propelled the Portland Pilots women’s basketball team over Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon in the Chiles Center, 71-56. The win ends the team's four game losing streak.

The Pilots move to 5-20 on the season and 3-11 in the West Coast Conference, while the Lions fall to 11-14 on the season and drop to 6-8 in WCC play.

Portland won the battle on the boards. They out-rebounded LMU 50 to 35. Junior forward Ashley Gray grabbed a career-high 15 boards, seven of which were offensive rebounds. LMU grabbed eight offensive rebounds as a team.

Strong defense gave Portland the advantage in the opening minutes. The Pilots led the game after the 1st half, 29-20, but the Lions rallied back to tie the game after a strong third quarter. However, it was offense that would seal the deal for the Pilots.

Senior guard Kaylie Van Loo led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half. She also netted 10 free throws, six of which came late in the 4th quarter.

“I want the ball in my hand at the end of the game.” Van Loo said. “I love those moments.”

Senior Kaylie Van Loo scored a career-high 23 points Saturday afternoon.

by Kristen Garcia / The Beacon

Van Loo has averaged just under 37 minutes per contest this season.

“She keeps the game steady and she’s our rock,” head coach Cheryl Sorenson said.

Portland shot 50 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, compared to 37.7 percent on the afternoon. They limited the Lions to 35.1 shooting from the floor for the game.

“I thought the girls did a great job of staying confident after the 3rd quarter and did a great job responding to their run,” Sorenson said.

Cheyanne Wallace led LMU in the loss with 20 points.

The Pilots will start a three game road trip, beginning next Thursday in Stockton, Calif. to face Pacific, before returning home for senior night and the regular season finale on Feb. 25.

Contact sports reporter Sal Aversa at aversa17@up.edu or on Twitter @sal_aversa.
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