The Portland Pilots hosted the Pepperdine Waves on Thursday night at the Chiles Center. The Waves got up early and never looked back. A slow start and poor shooting led the Pilots to a 58-83 loss, dropping them to 0-8 in conference play and 7-16 on the year.
A slow start for the Pilots once again dug them in a hole they couldn’t get out of. The team started slow and found themselves down 10-0 early, a lead which Portland would be chasing the whole game.
“We have to start better,” sophomore point guard JoJo Walker said. “If we start hard, points first, we are going to be alright.”
Playing from behind has gotten Portland in trouble this season, as it is hard to overcome the early deficits.
The first half was all Pepperdine as they dominated in most facets of the game, specifically shooting. The Pilots struggled on that end, finishing the half with 27.3 percent shooting from the floor. Portland did not hit double digits until 5:45 left in the first half.
Pepperdine was the polar opposite, shooting an impressive 61.5 percent in the first half. Many buckets came inside the painted area for the Waves, as the Pilot big men continually bit on shot fakes. Pepperdine finished the half with 22 points in the paint.
Portland got themselves in foul trouble, putting the Waves in the bonus with a little over eight minutes left in the first half. Portland finished with a total of 12 team fouls in the first half.
The Waves took a commanding 46-20 lead going into halftime.
The second half was more of the same. The Waves continued to dominate every part of the game. Portland was barely able to push their shooting percentage above 30 percent.
Pepperdine outperformed the Pilots in rebounding, shooting percentage and assists by large amounts. Portland found open shooters better in the second half than in the first but the shots still didn't fall.
“We have been consistently not shooting well,” Pilot head coach Terry Porter said. “The guys we want shooting it are shooting it and getting good shots. We have to stay with it and keep working on it.”
The Pilots will not have much time to dwell on the disappointing night. The team travels to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos this Saturday, Feb. 2.
Jamison White is a sports reporter at The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.