Both basketball teams picked up wins at home in Chiles Center on Nov. 11. The women’s team is now undefeated and the men’s team set a new record for most points scored in a game as well as the first triple-double in program history.
The women’s team hit the court first, taking on the UC San Diego Tritons. They were cheered on by both the dance team and the pep band.
Forward Lucy Cochrane won the tip-off and the Pilots started with possession. For a while, the teams were evenly matched, with the game going back and forth scoreless. Forward Alex Fowler finally broke through and started the Pilots’ scoring for the night.
The Pilots’ aggressive start kept the Tritons off the board as they went ahead 14-0. The first Triton points of the game came from the line as Aishah Brown put two in. Their first points in the run of play then came from Sydney Brown in the final minute of the first quarter.
While the first points of the second quarter came from the Tritons, UP’s Cochrane set the tone for the game with a swipe under the basket to deny UCSD points.
The Pilots demonstrated an offensive press while defending and caused a turnover to win the ball back.
Cochrane again denied the Tritons under the basket and, in a beautiful show of team play, the Pilots found Fowler who put up an effortless layup.
“I thought Lucy Cochran had a great first game and you know, obviously that means you got brought some great things and it just was a really good overall team effort.” Coach Michael Meeks said.
Pilot guard Maisie Burnham put on a show, making five free throws almost consecutively. The fifth came from an and-one, meaning she was fouled while going to the basket, getting the two points and getting to take one free throw as well.
Going into the second half, the Pilots led 44-18.
The Tritons started the third quarter but the Pilots stole the ball for possession. The first points came from the Tritons who made one of their free throws.
The Pilots made this game a team effort with points from almost all across the board, and the third quarter closed with a buzzer-beater from Burnham.
Burnham gave her team a lot of credit for the win.
“I thought this was a great team win, you know, it's just great to be out in front of everyone again so I think the energy was there tonight,” Burnham said.
Guard Emme Shearer fouled out of the game, but the Pilots kept up their dynamic play in the fourth quarter. The Pilots continued their team play, with 20 assists and 50 rebounds.
“I think we ended up with 17 assists, which is really good and just fun that we have players who can come ready to play and we have a team with so much depth,” guard Haylee Andrews said.
“I think having fans is a huge change, and just being together on a bench is just a huge difference,” Andrews added.
The final score of the game was 91-48, cementing another win for the pilots.
Men’s basketball makes history with win over Willamette University
The men’s team took the court shortly after to take on the Willamette University Bearcats. They looked to bounce back after a loss on the road against Arizona State University.
Forward Vasilije Vucinic won a tip-off for the pilots and the first points of the game.
The game started off with an aggressive back and forth, and guard Chris Austin went to the line first, making one free throw.
To pull the pilots ahead, guard Jack Perry put up a three, making it 6-5. Shortly afterward, guard Mike Meadows drove to the basket putting up more points for the pilots.
Threes were rampant in this game from both sides, with Perry putting up a two, forward Moses Wood with one, and another from forward Kristian Sjolund.
The first half had both teams going to the line multiple times to shoot free throws. Portland kept up the fast paced game for the first half and was up 57-48.
Portland started with the ball in the second half. The first points came from Vucinic who scored a dunk, and later two threes came from Meadows.
Another three came later from Wood, and he was closely followed by a three from Perry. The Pilots led 69-55 after this run.
Guard Yaru Harvey came into the game looking to make a difference with points from the line, drives towards the basket and a few assists. Forward Chika Nduka had a great game as well, putting up 15 points in the game.
The game ended for the Pilots with a program-high of 122 points to Willamette’s 78. Meadows also made program history with the first triple-double, recording 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Both teams also played on Saturday, Nov. 13. Both the men’s and the women’s teams picked up wins. The women beat Weber State 67-46 and the men beat Alcorn State 62-58.
The women’s team went on the road Tuesday Nov. 16 to play Stanford, and they fell 55-77. The men next play Arkansas Pine-Bluff at home on Nov. 18.
Wilder Isom is a sports reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org