Women's Hoops Downs Portland, 84-74

Women's Hoops Downs Portland, 84-74

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Pacific women's basketball team jumped out to an 18-2 lead and never trailed in a 83-74 win over Portland in the West Coast Conference opener Thursday in Portland.

Desire Finnie led the Tigers with a season-high tying 17 points while Chelsea Lidy tallied 14 points. GeAnna Luaulu-Summers scored 10 points with four assists and Emily Simons scored eight points with a team-high 10 rebounds. Ameela Li chipped in 10 points.

Eli Lopez Sagrera added eight points, six boards and a career-best three assists, while Callie Owens added eight points.

Pacific shot 50 percent from the field (26-of-52) with 16 assists, while holding Portland to 36 percent from the field (22-of-63). The Tigers hit 11-of-25 from deep and knocked down 31 free throws.

Finnie hit a three and then converted an and-one, while Eli Lopez Sagrera added a lay-up for an 8-0 lead 1:32 into the game, prompting an early Portland timeout.  Luaulu-Summers added a jumper before Portland got on the board. Luaulu-Summers added a pair of three-pointers as Pacific stretched the lead to 18-2.  Portland answered with seven straight points before Chelsea Lidy knocked down a fade-away jumper. The Pilots closed the quarter on a 17-3 run as Kate Anderson landed a mid-court heave at the buzzer to close within 21-19.

In the second, Lopez Sagrera found a cutting Emily Simons, who finished with a  reverse lay-up, but the Pilots hit four free throws to tie the game at 23-23. Finnie answered with an and-one and Luaulu-Summers knocked down a jumper, but an and-one from Kaylie Van Loo tied the game at 28-28. Lopez Sagrera canned a baseline jumper for the lead, while Callie Owens added a triple and a baby hook from the baseline. Ameela Li's three-pointer put the Tigers in front by four, 38-34. Owens added another triple as the Tigers carried a 45-37 lead into halftime.

Pacific shot 53 percent in the first half (16-of-28), while Portland connected on 43 percent (12-of-28). Points in the paint (14), rebounds (15), points off turnovers (12), and turnovers (11) were all even in the first half.

Finnie opened the third quarter with a three-pointer and banked home a runner for a 50-39 lead. Holly Blades answered with a three, but Finnie responded with another three-pointer. Simons added a triple as Pacific stretched the margin to 14 at 56-42. Lidy drove and finished while being fouled for a 62-48 Pacific lead. The Tigers carried a 67-50 lead into the fourth quarter.

Both teams traded free throws in the fourth before Jenelle Grant scored inside for a 72-56 lead. Van Loo added a pair of buckets as the Pilots clawed within 12, and a three from Hannah Mattson brought Portland within single digits at 72-63. Lidy drained a triple from the corner with the shot clock running down and added a jumper for a 77-63 lead. Pacific ran the clock down, and despite struggling from the free throw line down the stretch, held on for the 83-74 win.

Darian Slaga led Portland with 23 points, while Julie Spencer grabbed 18 rebounds for the Pilots. Portland held a slim 41-38 edge on the glass, and just a 22-20 advantage in points in the paint.

Both teams finished with 40 bench points in the contest.

Finnie equalled a season-high she set twice previously with 17 points at No. 9 UCLA and in a home win over CSU Bakersfield. She's scored in double-figures in six straight games.

Pacific improves to 5-7 overall, 1-0 in WCC play while Portland falls to 2-10 overall, 0-1 in conference play.

The Tigers will continue on the road with a 2 p.m. tip-off Saturday against Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington.