Portland Outlasts Pacific In WCC Opener

Portland Outlasts Pacific In WCC Opener

Pacific Courtside postgame report, Portland

STOCKTON, Calif. - Portland had five players in double-figures and held off Pacific 80-76 on Thursday evening in the West Coast Conferece (WCC) opener for both teams. The Pilots earn only their third win in 20 tries in the Alex G. Spanos Center and end a five-game losing streak in Stockton.

Alec Wintering finished with 26 points to lead five double-figure scorers for Portland (8-5, 1-0 WCC). Jazz Johnson added 17, while Gabe Taylor had 13. Ray Barreno and D'Marques Tyson contributed 12 and 11, respectively.

"We could never get a beat on him (Wintering)," Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire said. "He dictated the whole game."

Anthony Townes posted his third double-double this year, tying career-highs in points (18) and rebounds (12) for Pacific (6-8, 0-1 WCC) to lead four players in double-figures. Townes was 9-of-11 shooting with two blocks. D.J. Ursery recorded 17 of his team's 23 bench points on 6-of-9 shooting. Ray Bowles pumped in 16 points on a 7-of-13 effort from the field to go along with four assists. T.J. Wallace had 12 points, including a 6-of-6 effort from the charity stripe, to go along with six rebounds and three assists.

Portland shot 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the field, including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the final 20 minutes. The Pilots were 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from deep and 16-of-25 from the line.

The Tigers finished 50 percent (30-of-60) shooting, including 54.8 percent (17-of-31) after halftime, their third-straight game of 50 percent or better. Pacific converted 10-of-11 free throws overall and has attempted double digits in 13 of 14 contests.

Pacific made six treys Thursday, stretching its streak of consecutive games with at least one made 3 to 899.

Portland used an 8-0 run early in the second half to claim 45-37 advantage after being tied with the Orange and Black at 32 at intermission.

Trailing by 12, Pacific countered with a 7-0 run to close within five at 58-53 following a Bowles jumper at the 8:53 mark. The Pilots answered with an 8-2 run to push the margin back to double-digits and led by as many as 13 before another 7-0 run brought the Tigers within six after a Bowles trey with 3:36 to go.

Pacific climbed within one possession four times in the final 19 seconds and came within two, 78-76, after a Wallace layup, but the Tigers were unable to force a steal, and Johnson made two free throws down the stretch to seal his team's victory.

The Tigers shot 5-of-9 from the floor after starting just 2-of-7.

Pacific did not take its first lead of the night until the 1:31 mark when Wallace converted two free throws. A Townes layup 18 seconds later pushed the margin to three, but Johnson hit a trey as time expired to tie the affair at 32 at intermission.

Townes nearly posted a double-double in the first 20 minutes, scoring 14 points and collecting seven rebounds. 

Pacific continues WCC play Saturday hosting No. 6/7 Gonzaga. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. PT.