PORTLAND, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark men's basketball team put together a strong attack against in town Division I member, the University of Portland, but could not pull out the win falling to the Pilots 78-73.
The loss is the Pioneers first of the season, dropping their record to 3-1. The win brought the Pilots to .500 (3-3) on the season.
Senior Ross Erickson led the way for the Pios with a season-high 26 points after hitting 11-of-18 from the field. Erickson also led the Pioneers with a team-high four rebounds along with junior Quentin Sims. Sims drained 50.0 (5-10) of his shots from behind the three-point arch for 15 points.
Ryan Nicholas and Kevin Bailey each ended the night with 12 points for Portland.
After the Pilots start the game on a 9-3 run, with the Pioneer lone basket coming on Sims first three of the night, Lewis & Clark captured its first lead with 12:37 remaining in the half. After a Ben Neves steal, the freshman setup Erickson for a quick break layup, earning the Pios a 15-14 advantage.
The game remained close throughout the rest of the half with the Pioneers largest lead coming at the 9:27 marker on a Connor Freeberg three. An Erickson layup with 1:18 to go until halftime gave the Pioneers the lead back after the two sides tied the score on four occasions.
Derrick Rodgers made a layup for Portland with seconds remaining in the period to tie the game for the fifth time, sending both sides into the locker room deadlocked at 36-36.
Portland surged out of the gates in the second half, picking up a 48-41 advantage, just five minutes in. Despite their best attempts, the Pioneers would never be able to recapture the lead.
Sims pulled Lewis & Clark within a point with 6:45 on the clock with another of his three-pointers, making it a 64-63 game. The Pilots once again pulled ahead by seven with back-to-back free-throw shots with just 17 seconds remaining. Erickson managed to pull the Pioneers within four moments later but it would not be enough.
The Pioneers open Northwest Conference action on Friday night when they travel to face the Linfield Wildcats. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.