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COLLEGE HOOPS: Pilots women bury Viks with late blitz

A 27-1 run enables UP to pull away at Stott Center, win 76-49


With six minutes remaining in Saturday afternoon's women’s basketball battle between Portland State and the University of Portland, the Vikings had shrugged off a seven-point deficit and cut the Pilots' lead to 49-48.

That was as close as PSU could get, though.

The Pilots — who had had a pedestrian offensive performance up until that point — caught fire. UP outscored PSU 27-1 the rest of the way to walk out of Stott Center with a 76-49 win.

“We fiddle-farted around for the first 30 minutes, so I guess 10 minutes isn’t too much to ask,” Portland coach Jim Sollars said. “It’s Christmas. Right before Christmas, you can’t predict anything. Never have been able to.

"I’m glad we turned it on in the last 10 minutes and played the way we’re capable of and shot the ball a little better during that stretch.”

BROWNPortland went 29 of 63 from the field (46.0 percent) and 8 of 25 from the 3-point line (32.0 percent).

Cassandra Brown came off the bench to score 24 points for UP. Jasmine Wooton scored 11, and Cassandra Thompson and Kari Luttinen each added 10.

The Vikings had a miserable day shooting (17 of 59, 28.8 percent). Portland State was 1 of 14 from beyond the arc. To make matters worse, PSU could not hit free throws, either, going 14 of 28.

“We win the game if we make our free throws,” PSU coach Sherri Murrell lamented.

Lariel Powell led Viking scorers with 11 points.

Trailing 31-24 at halftime, Portland State mad an 8-0 run to take a 32-31 lead — the Vikings' first lead since they were up by two at the 15.46 mark of the first half.

Portland countered with a 7-0 run that gave the Pilots a 38-32 lead.

The Vikings stayed within striking distance until the six-minute mark, when things began clicking for UP. Portland started forcing into turnovers, and the Pilots' 3-pointers began to fall.

Portland State guard Kate Lanz was disappointed with the way her team faded.

“We played really, really hard until the last six minutes of the game,” Lanz said. “They hit a couple of 3s, and it just got to us. They played a great game for 40 minutes; we played a great game for 33 minutes.”

The game was tied 7-7 with just under 14 minutes left to play in the first half. Portland then went on a 10-2 run, giving the Pilots a 17-9 lead. UP set the pace the rest of the half, taking a 31-24 lead into intermission.

Portland’s marksmanship was nothing in the first half to write home about. The Pilots were 13 of 22 from the field (40.6 percent) and 2 of 14 from beyond the 3-point line.

But Portland held the Vikings to 9 of 31 from the floor (29.0 percent) and 0 of 5 from beyond the arc in the first half.

“We pride ourselves in our defense,” Brown said. “We focused on that this week, to work on our zone rotations. We managed to get some good breakdowns, get some steals and easy transition buckets.”