Portland just couldn’t get out of their own way in Corvallis as the Beavers scored 25 points off of 15 Pilot turnovers en route to a 79-73 win. After scoring the first five points Portland fell behind early and struggled to really find a rhythm. The Pilots came out strong in the second half and tested the Beavers, but two costly turnovers that turned into 4 easy points slowed the momentum that Portland had been building and a pair of Roberto Nelson three’s squashed any hope of a Portland victory.
Portland got it’s normal stud performance from Ryan Nicholas who grabbed 13 rebounds in addition to scoring 14 points. Kevin Bailey came alive late to add 12 points and 5 assists but it was JUCO transfer Bobby Sharp who paced the Pilots with 18 points after shooting 5-11 from deep.
Portland also saw a nice stretch from West Virginia transfer Voldy Gerun in which he scored 9 straight points in a span that really saw Portland close the gap on Oregon State.
Despite the solid contributions from key players, Portland’s errors proved too much to overcome. Portland only managed to shoot 42% from the field and of the 15 Portland turnovers, 13 were OSU steals which lead to fast break opportunities for the Beavers.
This Portland team is for sure improved from last season, but with an improved team, comes raised expectations and letting these winnable games is hard to swallow.
It was a frustrating night for Portland and things aren’t going to get any easier when they head to East Lansing to face the future #1 team in the country Michigan State next Monday. If the Pilots have a repeat performance against Tom Izzo and company it could be a very long night for Portland.
Despite all of the frustration, the Portland team is trending upward overall and hopefully the Pilots can learn from a game like this and use it going forward