Nov 18, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Portland Pilots forward Ryan Nicholas (32) and Michigan State Spartans center Adreian Payne (5) battle for position during the second half at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Michigan State won 82-67. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Nicholas closes out great career at Chiles Center with a victory


 

The Portland Pilots won their senior night game by defeating the Pepperdine Waves by a score of 74-62.  Ryan Nicholas led the Pilots with 21 points and 6 rebounds in the final game of his remarkable career as a Pilot.  Thomas van der Mars added 15 points and 5 rebounds, while senior Tanner Riley made the most of his opportunity as a starter, scoring 10 points after not playing a single minute for nearly two months.  Alec Wintering was the only non-senior in Portland’s starting lineup, and he contributed 5 assists and 8 points.

Pepperdine was led by Malcolm Brooks with 15 points, while Brendan Lane had a double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.  Off the bench once again, Stacy Davis played well scoring 12 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.  Portland jumped out to an early 10 point lead and led by 7 at the half.  Pepperdine cut the deficit to as little as 4 points in the second half, but they were never able to make it over the hump.

 

KEYS TO THE GAME

Portland

Check – Guards must step up, with or without Bailey: Kevin Bailey indeed did not play as he was in a walking boot before the game.  But other guards did step up as Tanner Riley had 10 points and 2 assists, Alec Wintering had 8 points and 5 assists, Korey Thieleke had 8 points and 4 rebounds, and Bryce Pressley had 6 points and 7 rebounds.

Pepperdine

Check minus – Get Skouen and Raines going: Jett Raines had a solid game with 7 points and 3 rebounds, but Nikolas Skouen disappointed with only 3 points on 1/4 shooting.  Pepperdine needed more production out of these key role players if they had wanted to walk out of the Chiles Center with a victory.

 

KEY MATCHUP

Stacy Davis vs. Ryan Nicholas: Nicholas was the senior, and he stepped up on his big night.  Its not that Davis played poorly, but Ryan Nicholas had one of his best games of the season.  With Nicholas and Thomas van der Mars playing as well as they did tonight, Portland could be a scary team come WCC Tournament time.

 

MOVING FORWARD

Portland finishes with 4 road games, starting this weekend with BYU and San Diego.  If Kevin Bailey does not play, expect the Pilots to keep looking inside to their two big men as they should have been doing more all season long.

Pepperdine will need to regroup when they travel to their travel partner matchup at LMU next Thursday.

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