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On College Hoops by Paul Danzer: Pilot men break through; Ducks, Beavers women head to Arizona; Rasheed, Radford lead NAU women.

Observations from the first week of Pac-12 hoops action, and from notable wins for the Portland Pilot men and women …

College men's basketball: The eight Pac-12 teams that played twice in the first week of conference play all went 1-1. Among them was Oregon (12-3), which fell from No. 4 to No. 9 in the AP poll this week after losing at Colorado — where the Ducks have never won — then winning a close game at Utah. 

Payton PritchardOregon has a big game at 6 p.m. Thursday, with No. 24 Arizona (12-3) visiting Matthew Knight Arena. Ducks guard Payton Pritchard continues to lead the charge and became the first player in Pac-12 history to reach 1,500 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds during the trip to the mountain schools.

• Oregon State (11-3, 1-1) posted a high-quality victory on Jan. 5 at Colorado, rallying from 12 down midway through the second half to win 76-69 and earn a split on its trip. Ethan Thompson scored seven of his 24 points in the final 70 seconds. The Beavers play host to Arizona State at 8 p.m. Thursday and Arizona at 7 p.m. Sunday.

• Congrats to the Portland Pilots, who won a West Coast Conference game for the first time in 23 months on Jan. 4. The 76-65 win over San Francisco ended a string of 23 consecutive WCC losses and was powered by a strong game from junior guard JoJo Walker. With top scorer Isaiah White out with the flu, Walker returned to the starting lineup and contributed 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. Chase Adams (five steals) and Malcom Porter (four steals) spearheaded the Pilots, who turned 19 USF turnovers into 14 points. Next for Portland (9-8, 1-1) is a 6 p.m. Saturday game at BYU.

• Redshirt sophomore Hugh Hogland has left the Pilots and entered the transfer portal. The 6-10 forward/center averaged 2.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.7 minutes this season. After redshirting in 2017-18, he averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds last season.

• Portland State has dropped three consecutive games heading into Big Sky contests Saturday at Montana State and Monday at Montana. The Vikings would be in much better shape if not for poor free-throw shooting. PSU was .569 from the line in its four conference games.

• Concordia (1-11) will try to halt a six-game skid on Thursday against Great Northwest Athletic Conference-leading Seattle Pacific (8-4. 4-0), then play host to Saint Martin's (4-9, 2-2) on Saturday.

• Lewis & Clark scored 110 points in its first Northwest Conference home game — and lost. The Pioneers shot 67% and had Brian Smith score 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting (including 4 for 4 on 3's). But 27 turnovers were a big reason the Pios fell 116-110 in overtime Jan. 4 to the Pacific Boxers. Lewis and Clark is at Whitman on Friday and at Whitworth on Saturday.

 

College women's basketball: Oregon remained No. 2 and Oregon State No. 3 in the AP rankings — behind Connecticut — after the Ducks and Beavers opened Pac-12 play with wins over the mountain schools.

Oregon was especially dominant, outscoring Colorado and Utah by a combined 95 points to improve to 12-1.

Oregon State's game against Colorado was competitive, but the Beavers are 14-0 and playing solid defense.

This week is the trip to Arizona. The Wildcats are 13-1 and ranked 18th entering a Friday game against the Beavers. The Ducks are at Arizona State on Friday before the teams swap opponents on Sunday.

• The first WCC win of the Michael Meek era at Portland was a solid one. The Pilots' 57-48 victory on Jan. 4 at BYU ended a string of 20 losses to the Cougars. Portland (8-6, 1-2 WCC) is home at 7 p.m. Thursday against Pacific (10-5, 3-1) and 2 p.m. Saturday against Saint Mary's (9-6, 4-0).

• After comfortable wins over Idaho and Eastern Washington improved Portland State to 2-2 in Big Sky play, the Vikings (8-6) figure to be challenged by visits to Viking Pavilion from Montana State at 2 p.m. Saturday and Montana at 7 p.m. Monday. Montana State entered a Thursday home game against third-place Idaho at 4-0 in conference play and Montana was 3-1 entering a Thursday home game against Eastern Washington.

Viks senior forward Jordan Stotler was named Big Sky Conference player of the week for her play against Idaho and Eastern Washington. It was the first such honor for the 6-4 Roseburg native, who had 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists over the two games. Her four assists against Idaho were a career high until she had six against EWU. Stotler's average of three blocked shots a game leads the Big Sky and ranks 11th in the nation.

In the Jan. 4 win over EWU, PSU matched a program record for made 3-pointers, going 13 for 29. Six Viks made a trey, led by the 5 of 7 from freshman Belle Frazier.

• Former Grant High standouts Khiarica Rasheed and Nina Radford paced Northern Arizona to its first Big Sky win of the season, an 88-82 victory Jan. 4 at Weber State. Rasheed, a junior, scored a career-high 31 points in the win and leads the Big Sky in scoring in conference play averaging 23.0 points. Radford, a redshirt sophomore, scored 26 against Weber State. NAU visits PSU on Jan. 25.

• Concordia takes a 3-10 record into a Thursday home game against Montana State Billings. After a Tuesday win over Western Oregon, the Cavaliers are 2-3 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference. MSB is2-2.

• Warner Pacific scored a nice upset win on Jan. 4, ending a 10-game win streak for Oregon Tech with a 66-55 win. WPU trailed 12-1 and was down by 14 points midway through the third quarter. The Knights are 4-3 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play entering games Friday at Northwest Christian and Saturday at Corban.

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@pauldanzer


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