Freshman forward Maxwell Lewis leaps over Portland’s block at the Jan. 15, Men’s Basketball game. Pepperdine fell to the visiting Portland Pilots 82-63. Photo by Brandon Rubsamen
The Men’s Basketball Team hoped to turn the tide and score a win against the Portland Pilots but were unable to gain headway and lost 82-63.
In Pepperdine’s last game against St. Mary’s Jan. 13, the Waves lost 77-62. The Waves have a five-day stretch without games, the longest since the season restarted Jan. 8.
“We will get some rest,” Men’s Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We haven’t had a day off in a while. We’ve just got to get back to the basics. Work on things that just make us a solid, fundamentally sound team and we got to start from there.”
Though the Waves won the tip-off, within the first two minutes of play, Portland scored two 3-pointers and a midrange shot, starting the game with a score of 8-0. Freshman guard Mike Mitchell Jr. scored a 3-pointer, getting the Waves on the scoreboard at 8-3.
Portland secured a rebound from the Waves and made a tight shot near the net, bringing the score to 10-3. In the rush down court, Portland’s Chika Nduka and senior guard Darryl Polk Jr. went down. Taking advantage of the confusion, freshman guard Houston Mallette scored a layup in a fast break, tightening the score to 10-5 with 15 minutes of play left in the first half.
“Throughout the game it was just hard to get my rhythm,” Polk said. “So it was hard for me. But I just feel like you know, just on the defensive end pretty blessed.”
Portland scored another mid-range shot and 3-pointer, despite senior center Victor Ohia Obioha fighting for rebounds at the net. The Waves wrestled for the ball, and on a throw-in with 10 seconds left on the shot clock, the Waves searched for a hole in Portland’s defense.
The clock clicked down, four, three, two, and on one Polk scored a 3-pointer. Portland’s lead tightened at 15-8.
Portland made another mid-range shot before freshman forward Maxwell Lewis made a 3-pointer facing the next straight on, bringing the score to 17-11 with 11:40 left on the clock. Portland logged a 3-pointer widening the gap to 20-11.
Redshirt senior guard Jade’ Smith took a hard fall as Kristian Sjolund scored a 3-pointer. Smith was awarded a one-and-one and made both shots, resulting in a score of 23-13. Portland made another three-pointer before the Waves scored two mid-range shots, bringing the score to 26-17.
In a 5-2 run, Portland outshot the Waves, and the score stood at 31-19 at 7:07.
Pepperdine made several shots, including two foul shots from junior forward Jan Zidek. However, the Waves missed several foul shots, while Portland went on to score 10 more points, creating a 14-point gap at 41-27.
With less than two minutes until halftime, Zidek scored a mid-range shot and Lewis shot a 3-pointer, bringing the score to 41-32. Portland was awarded two foul shots, and the first quarter ended with a score of 43-32.
“We just didn’t do a very good job defending in the first half,” Romar said.
Out of halftime, the Pilots scored a shot within the key, but Lewis snatched the rebound and rushed up the court, sinking a layup and bringing the score to 45-34. Portland shot and missed, Lewis secured the rebound again and scored again for the Waves, shrinking the gap back down to single digits.
The Pilots sank a shot within the key and from the foul line before Zidek made a 3-pointer five minutes into the quarter.
The Pilots made several shots before Lewis and Obioha made one foul shot each, resulting in a score of 52-41. The Waves were on fire as Mitchell sank a layup and scored a 3-pointer in quick succession, shrinking the gap down to six.
The Pilots scored a foul shot, but Lewis sank a 3-pointer, bringing the Waves within four points of the Pilots at 53-49 at 9:35
Portland scored eight more points before Zidek sunk a 3-pointer and with only seven minutes left of game time, the score was back in double digits at 61-51. The Pilots scored again and Zidek made a mid-range shot, keeping the gap at 10 points, before Portland racked up four more points.
Mallette made a 3-pointer at 5:07 and the Pilots scored a 3-pointer of their own, maintaining a 14 point gap, 70-56.
The refs awarded Portland two foul shots and after a Portland player fell left of the net, however, it was unclear whether or not Polk touched him. Portland made both shots and the score grew to 72-56. Zidek scored within the key, but Portland claimed a three-pointer standing at 75-58.
The Pilots would log four more points compared with the Waves two. At 43 seconds Mallette made a 3-pointer bringing the score to 79-63. Portland would score three more points through foul shots, and the game came to a close at 82-63.
“I think our biggest thing is confidence,” Polk said. “You know, we lost a couple of games in a row, especially at home. Gives us a chance to get to play an away game in a different environment are just going in there with confidence that we can win the game. That’s all we need.”
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