The University of Portland Pilots fell 77-67 to the University of San Diego Toreros on Saturday, falling to 9-11 on the year. They’re now 1-4 in West Coast Conference play, extending their losing streak to three games.
Portland came out hot to start the first half, sparked by a layup and a made and-one from Isaiah White and lead the Toreros 13-4 five minutes into the game. As the half progressed the Toreros retook the lead. By the end of the half, the Pilots managed to narrow the lead 27-25.
After trading shots to start the second half, the Toreros took control and didn't give it up, burying the Pilots with a barrage of threes and ramping their lead up to double digits with ten minutes left in the second half.
“We weren't able to lean on our defense in the second half tonight,” Porter said. “We gave up 52 points. That’s a lot of points for a team that really only came in and averaging 60 or so.”
Despite San Diego’s lack of size, Portland was out-rebounded in the second half 24 to 14, with the Toreros having as many offensive boards as the Pilots did defensively.
“We struggled and went through a stretch where we went on an offensive drought,” Porter said. “We needed someone to carry us through that stretch offensively and we just couldn't find that."
A handful of late three-pointers by Chase Adams and JoJo Walker weren’t enough to get Portland back in the game. The Pilots barely managed to break the double-digit barrier.
Looking forward, the Pilots have a lot to improve on from this game.
“We’ll look closely at next practice to see exactly what happened with our shot selection, look at transition D (defense), see where we broke down defensively,” Porter said. “I don’t think it was just rebounding.”
The Pilots are on the road for their next three games, with the first of the stretch coming against Loyola Marymount Thursday, Jan. 23rd.
William Seekamp is a news reporter at The Beacon. He can be reached at email@example.com.