Record breaking night in Chiles

The women’s basketball team breezed past Loyola Marymount and Alex Fowler made history, the men's basketball team fell to nationally ranked Gonzaga

By Wilder Isom | January 29, 2023 12:20pm
by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Men’s Basketball 

On Saturday Jan. 28 the men’s basketball team took on the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the women’s basketball team took on the Loyola Marymount Lions. The men’s basketball team went into the game with a three home game winning streak that ended against the Bulldogs.  

The men’s team took to the court first taking on nationally ranked Gonzaga (no. 14). They lost 67-82. Gonzaga started with possession after winning tip-off to start the game but the first basket was purple. Kristian Sjolund put away a rebound with a dunk. Portland collected another first of the game as Moses Wood sank the first three of the game.

Even though Chiles was packed with fans from both Portland and Spokane, the men’s basketball team didn’t go about the game any differently. 

by Gavin Britton / The Beacon

“I think for me, I'm a bit superstitious. I gotta have a coffee before every game,” Tyler Robertson said. “So I come in having a coffee but for our team we just prepared like every other game.

Gonzaga missed their first two attempts to score but they didn’t miss their third. That was the start of their run for the evening. The Bulldogs led for the majority of the game but Portland held on. 

The Pilots relied on their rebounding prowess putting up a number of baskets after the initial attempt. They also utilized this on the defensive side, recovering missed baskets and fighting for possession. 

At the half the Pilots trailed by six points with 29 points to Gonzaga’s 35. Wood put up the most points in the first half with 13 total. The Pilots were a little shaky in the first half, letting go of a few errant passes and giving up the ball but they held on. The largest gap in scoring was eight points. 

The second half starts with Pilot possession, but this time Gonzaga is the first to score after a failed pass attempt by Portland. 

Chika Nduka kicks off the second half with a three after a long pass from Robertson finds him. Robertson followed with a three bringing the Pilots within two points of the Bulldogs.

The Pilots remained a little shaky still missing a few passes but it didn’t appear to impact them too much as they remained trailing the Bulldogs by two. The Bulldogs also collected a few poor passes, returning the possession to UP. 

“I think our Achilles heel right now is rebounding and turnovers,” head coach Shantay Legans said. “I think that that hurts our team. If you look at our last four or five games, even the wins, we've turned the ball over, we've given up a lot of points off offensive rebounds.”

The game is a low scoring affair with both teams staying under the 100 mark. This shows the progress compared to the Pilot’s last meeting with Gonzaga on Jan. 14 where they lost 75-115. 

In an exciting back and forth Gonzaga stole a Pilot’s pass but their basket was denied by Robertson. Robertson’s performance wasn’t high scoring but he tallied a career high number of blocks and completed a few passes that lead to points on the board. 

“If I'm making shots, I'm making shots.” Robertson said. “If not, then I'm going to find a way to impact the game. I surprised myself with a couple of blocks.”

The intensity picked up in the second half, with 10 minutes remaining the Pilot’s defense picked up some steals that they capitalized on. Gonzaga also seemed to pick up the pace as they put away baskets just as quickly as Portland.

“Gonzaga, they're a good team,” Legans said. “... they put us in tough spots and they switched up their defensive principles in the second half and switched everything they went to.” 

Juan Sebastian Gorosito was on fire, maybe it was his birthday, maybe that’s just the way he plays, but he was putting away 3’s left and right, he scored 17 points for the Pilots. 

by Gavin Britton / The Beacon

The Pilot’s athletics teams were out supporting the men’s basketball team as well. The baseball team aptly threw free shirts into the crowd, the women’s soccer team and the rowing team were seen in the stands, and the women’s basketball team stood on the sidelines watching the final minutes of the game. 

Moses Wood put up another three adding to his total points for the night, he finished with a total of 19 for the Pilots. 

As the game went into the final few minutes, tension rose as both teams got tired and committed a few more fouls. The game ended with UP losing 67-82 to the nationally ranked Bulldogs. They next travel to California to take on San Diego University on Feb. 2.

Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball team hit the court an hour after the men’s game and they beat the Loyola Marymount Lions 58-39. 

The Pilots won the tip off but the first point of the night didn’t come until three minutes of the game had passed. LMU put up the first basket of the night but Portland was quick to respond with a three pointer from Maisie Burnham. 

The Pilots controlled the game from the beginning, not allowing LMU to score too many baskets and capitalizing on their own opportunities. 

Legans returned to the court after his team left to support the women’s team. A few players also returned to the stands to cheer on the women’s team. Players from the women’s soccer team and the rowing team also returned to show their support. 

In the second quarter Portland’s offense put on a dominant showing, pulling ahead of the Lions by over 20 points and keeping their opponent to one basket. They also capitalized on their foul opportunities ending the half up 32-9. 

The second half started with LMU in possession but they were still unable to find much of the net. Portland struggled to find their footing in the beginning of the third quarter. Unable to score for a stretch of five minutes, Maisie Burnham finally broke that spell with an easy two-pointer. 

“I would rather win games defensively anyways,” head coach Michael Meek said. “Because I know that the best teams are going to have off nights offensively.

The Pilots also demonstrated their prowess garnering  more fouls than the Lions in the third quarter. Going into the fourth they led the game 42-20. 

LMU began the final quarter with possession but the Pilots were quick to find the net in response. 

Portland and LMU settled into a bit of a back-and-forth game for the final quarter of the game. Every basket that UP scored the Lions seemed to answer.

by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

As she stepped up to the line and sunk two free throws Alex Fowler made history as she became the top scorer in school history.

“She gets a lot of points, but she's probably one of the most selfless players that we have out there.” Shearer said of Fowler’s milestone.

“I think it kind of just stuck in my head,” Fowler said. “I was definitely overthinking it a little too much going into this game, which kind of affected my shot, but that's okay.”

The final three minutes for the Pilots were relatively steady basketball with the Pilot’s subbing in a few newer players as their win was secured. Malika Samia, Emma Strielan, Chance Bucher and Maddie Condron all found time on the court.

Portland held onto their lead, winning 58-39. The Pilots next travel to California to take on San Francisco University on Feb. 2. 

Wilder Isom is the Sports Editor at The Beacon. She can be reached at