Pilots rise above LMU 68-66
This Saturday on the beautiful Portland Bluff, the Portland Pilots came away with a hard-fought victory, beating the Loyola Marymount Lions 68-66 to complete the season sweep.
With this victory, the Pilots now have a respectable four wins over their past six games.
Both teams went into the matchup coming off of strong wins, with the Pilots beating Pepperdine (85-76) and the Lions upsetting BYU (76-69).
The Pilots dominated the first half, leading the Lions nearly every step of the way. Some of the highlights of the half included a demanding shot by Freshman Jojo Walker and a swift 3 by Josh McSwiggan. However, the Pilot who shined brightest this half was senior guard D’Marques Tyson with a dominating 17 points, helping the team end the first half on top, 37-27.
The pilots ended the first half with a 10-point lead, 37 - 27, but later struggled to maintain control in the second half, at one point falling behind the lions 42-46, with the teams fighting for every point.
“It seems like every game this year we can’t really get a game where we can just run away with it,” Tyson said, who also explained that coming out of halftime, the team just didn’t have the same energy as at the beginning of the game, saying that it was something the team as a whole needed to work on.
Eventually, the Pilots regained their footing in the latter half of the game, which proved to be a back-and-forth battle between the teams, with neither pulling away with a significant lead. For Portland, freshman Jojo Walker put in an impressive 3, later followed by a critical shot by Malcolm Porter, bringing the score to 61-59 with only 2:30 left in the game.
Near the end of the game, tensions ran high both on and off the court, with the Pilots having only a 1-point edge (66-65) which was gone a few seconds later as LMUs Steven Haney put in a free throw (66-66). However, a foul by LMU's Jeffery McClendon allowed number 10, Marcus Shaver, to put in two free throws, and with only two seconds left in the game, the Lions were unable to make up the difference.
Next week, the Pilots will travel to California to face off against the University of San Francisco, which currently sits at seventh in the conference.