In a must-win game for seeding purposes, the Portland Pilots (15-15, 7-11) fell to the Pacific Tigers (15-14, 6-12) by a score of 68-65.
The last four minutes of the game were a back-and-forth affair, which saw the Tigers and the Pilots trade buckets and trade leads. A crazy sequence of events ensued in the last 22 seconds of the game, when Trevin Harris was stripped and the Pilots converted on the other end of the floor with a Riley Barker put back layup with seven seconds left after he corralled an offensive rebound. The play put the Pilots up by a score of 65-64. Prior to the Barker put back, Trevin Harris fell to the court where he was riving in pain and grasping his right shoulder. The Pilots had a four on five situation at that point, which they were able to convert on.
A defensive lapse on the end of the Pilots allowed Andrew Bock to take the inbounds pass and build up a full head of steam towards the Pilots basket. Bock was able to get close to the rim, but was fouled by Bryce Pressley with a little under three seconds left to play. With a chance to put the Tigers up one point, Bock subsequently made both free throws and just like that the Tigers had a 66-65 lead. The Pilots decided to throw a full court pass, which was intercepted by Pacific’s Aaron Short. Short was then fouled with fractions of a second left with a chance to ice the game. Short proceeded to knock down both free throws and the Pilots desperation heave was to no avail. The Tigers came on top after a wild succession of events, upsetting the Pilots by a score of 68-65.
Pacific was led by Harris, who scored 19 points on seven of 11 shooting on senior night. Tony Gill’s seven rebounds were a team-high, as were Andrew Bock’s six assists. Bock also finished in double-figures with 11 points.
Bryce Pressley had the hot hand tonight for the Pilots, scoring 19 points off seven of seven shooting. He also tied David Carr for the Pilots team-high in assists with four. Thomas van der Mars had a solid day inside with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Keys to the Game Checklist
(Check) Utilize Depth against Short-Handed Pilots
(Push) Interior Production
Ryan Nicholas and Van der Mars finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds as a duo, but were not an overwhelmingly dominant force.
Player of the Game
Despite the loss, Pressley was a perfect seven of seven shooting in a 19 point performance.
Pacific is locked in to the eight seed in the WCC tournament, while Portland is locked into the seven seed. Portland will play the 10 seed on Thursday while Pacific will play the nine seed. The nine and ten seeds could either be Santa Clara or LMU depending on how the rest of the night progresses.