Post-break sports update

By The Beacon | November 30, 2011 9:00pm

By Kyle Cape-Lindelin Staff Writer

Women's Basketball

UP was in a close match with Hawaii on Nov. 18 for the first half, leading 36-32 at halftime, before stepping on the gas and beating the Warriors in an 83-63 win.

Senior guard Natalie Day, who earned her third straight WCC Player of the Week recognition, led the team with 19 points and seven rebounds. Fellow senior point guard ReZina TecleMariam played a balanced game with 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Against DePaul on Nov. 19, UP's points were hard to come by as the Blue Demons held the Pilots to 32 percent shooting for the night. Despite only turning the ball over 13 times and hitting their free throws (21 of 23), the Pilots couldn't contain DePaul, losing 99-64 with five DePaul players scoring in double-digits.

In the final game of the tournament, UP found themselves in a dogfight against SDSU. Despite UP leading the entire game, the Aztecs took the lead off a layup with eight seconds left. Unfazed, TecleMariam raced down the court, missing the game-winning layup. Day went up for the game-saving rebound and was fouled hard, earning a pair of free throws.

Down one, Day calmly swished both free throws to give the Pilots a 59-58 win. Day led the team with 21 points and seven rebounds. TecleMariam finished with 10 points and five assists while sophomore Cassandra Brown added 12 points and five rebounds.

Hosting PSU on Nov. 25, UP was again in a close game until the last two minutes. Sophomore forward Amy Pupa, who grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to go with six points, was able to score while being fouled, to turn the tide UP's way. After hitting the "and-one" free throw, UP pulled away, winning 62-54.

Sophomore guard Alexis Byrd hit her career-high 20 points to go along with Day's team-leading 22 points. Byrd also hit 11 straight free throws in the game, which is a Chiles Center record for women's basketball, topping former great Laiken Dollente by one and just missing the UP record held by Lorena Legarde in 1984 by one.

The Pilots were once again successful at the Chiles Center as they beat Montana on Nov. 27, winning 55-46. Despite Montana coming within single digits a few times in the second half, UP was able to hold off the Lady Griz with Day's 14 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. The 19 rebounds were the most by a Pilot since 1998 when Sarah Green had 20 against San Francisco.

UP's lockdown defense has held their opponents to less than 60 points in the last four games, which hasn't been done since 2009. Led by Day, UP has raised its record to 5-2.

Even with Day accomplishing her fourth 20-point game with 22 points, the Pilots were unable to overcome 20 turnovers and nine three-pointers buried by Eastern Washington to bring their record to 5-3 with a 76-60 loss.

Despite the Pilots handing out the ball well with 19 assists and hitting nine three-pointers of their own, the turnovers kept UP out of the game and they never came within single digits in the second half.

The Pilots head out on the road to face tough NW rivals next week, taking on Oregon in Eugene on Dec. 4 before travelling to Seattle to play Washington on Dec. 9 and Seattle University on Dec. 11

Women's Soccer

The women's 2011 soccer season came to an end on Nov. 18 against No. 1 seed Florida State in Memphis, Tenn. losing 3-1. Despite overcoming season-long injuries, making a comeback at the end of the season to be selected in the NCAA Tournament and rewarding their fans with a first-round victory at cross-state rival Oregon State, UP wasn't able to take down national power house FSU.

Despite the Pilots beating FSU in their season opener 2-1 on Aug. 21, they were unable to stop a potent Seminole offensive attack as FSU scored twice by halftime, hitting two of their first four shots. Sophomore forward Kaila Cameli had two close shots denied by FSU goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, draining UP's confidence.

With a 2-0 lead coming out of halftime, FSU scored again in the 59th minute to put an official end to UP's season. Junior midfielder Taylor Brooke was able to score her first goal of the season with five minutes left, but the game well out of reach.

Men's Basketball

The Pilots were in a physical battle with WSU on Nov. 20 with a total of 50 fouls being handed out throughout the game. The Pilots were able to share the ball well with five players reaching double figures in scoring and out-rebounding the Cougars 39-28. However, the Pilots were hurt by foul trouble and only shot 40 percent from the field including a pitiful 23 percent from three point range, dooming them to a 83-73 loss.

UP came away with a loss at UC-Santa Barbra on Nov. 22 83-69 as the young Pilots ran into a senior-filled UCSB team featuring future pro prospect Orlando Johnson, who led the way with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

The Pilots struggled all game with foul trouble on their big men which led to the team being outrebounded for the first time this year 45-28. Despite UP playing strong zone defense and limiting their turnovers to just eight, UCSB continued to rain jumpers, scorching the field at 47 percent including hitting seven three-pointers in the second half. Senior Nemanja Mitrovic finished with 12 points, with sophomore guard Tanner Riley putting up the same to lead the team.

The Pilots walked into the famously hostile Rudd Arena as huge underdogs against No. 2 Kentucky, one of the best teams in the country, who, despite a strong effort by UP, beat the Pilots 87-63. The Pilots kept it respectful with good three-point shooting (11-23) and winning the rebound battle 39-38.

UP trailed by 12 points at the half and came as close as six early in the second half, fueled by hot shooting by Mitrovic, who tallied 20 points with six three-pointers. Riley also chipped in 14 points off the bench, nailing four three pointers, and sophomore point guard Tim Douglas added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.

The talent level for Kentucky was overwhelming with the team stacked with as many as seven future NBA prospects. Kentucky forced 17 UP turnovers and scored 22 points off those turnovers. Sophomore Portland native forward Terrence Jones (Jefferson High School) led Kentucky with 19 points.

The Pilots were able to snap their four-game losing streak after gutting out a win in the second half against a scrappy Lewis & Clark team. Freshman center Thomas van der Mars had a career high 19 points and redshirt freshman forward John Bailey matched his career high with 14 points.

UP was in a fight with L&C the entire game with the Pioneers coming within three points with less than two minutes left. The Pilots were able to win by winning the rebound battle 40-29 and taking advantage of their second chance points.

The win puts UP's record at 5-4 for the season thus far as they head out on the road on Dec. 3 to face St. Louis and to Boise State on Dec. 7. The Pilots return home on Dec. 10 to take on Ohio University at 7 p.m.

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