Nov. 21, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. - Last year, in an 88-70 victory over Portland at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, Yale shot 63.3 percent from the field. On Friday in the rematch, it was the Pilots' turn to shoot lights out. All five starters scored in double figures and UP made 59.6 percent of its shots en route to a 77-58 victory over the Bulldogs before a crowd of 1,596 at the Chiles Center.
"They are a much better basketball team," said Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball James Jones of the Pilots, who returned four starters and added a junior college All-America point guard. "They are more experienced and are much better at what they are trying to do."
Nik Raivio led Portland with 18 points and nine rebounds. Kramer Knudsen made all six of his shots from the field and finished with 14 points, while Robin Smeulders added 12 points and six rebounds.
Alex Zampier paced the Bulldogs with 15 points and four assists. Ross Morin added 10 points, while Garrett Fiddler had nine points and five rebounds. Travis Pinick scored seven points but was limited to 18 minutes because of foul trouble. Paul Nelson had a season-high six points in 11 minutes off the bench.
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half, Yale cut the deficit to 10 on Raffi Mantilla's three-pointer with 13:56 remaining in the second half. Portland built the lead back to 18, but the Bulldogs had one more run left. Zampier's three-pointer pulled Yale within 11, 59-48, with 8:12 left.
The Bulldogs had a couple of opportunities to get within 10 points but couldn't capitalize. The Pilots (2-1) then sealed the victory with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes.
"Our team is built on rebounding and defense, and we didn't do a good job in the first half," Jones said. "I thought we were much better in the second half. We don't have a great three-point shooter, so we have to [come back] with our defense, and it's hard in a hostile environment."
Portland, which opened its season with a victory over Washington, outrebounded the Bulldogs 37-25. Yale, though, had seven offensive rebounds in the second half.
The Bulldogs are off until Monday night when they play at Oregon State at 7 p.m. PST.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity