Portland, OR – The University of Portland defeated Portland State at the Chiles Center Saturday night 86-83 as Ahmed Ali scored a career-high 28 points. Portland State, played their first game of the season after their games were cancelled against Washington State, Cal State Fullerton and San Diego.
The pace was frantic from the start with up-play, pressure defense, transition, and trapping activity. Early on Portland State couldn’t make a field goal, so the Pilots got out to an early 12- point lead (14-2), behind the play of athletic 6-5 junior guard Latrell Jones. Jones, who produced a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds, 7-12 FG, 2-3 3PT), scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half. He played with energy and enthusiasm. It was a Jones three-pointer that broke a 68-68 tie with 5:16 remaining to give the Pilots the lead for tenth and final time.
Portland State’s 6-10 senior transfer (Arizona State) forward Khalid Thomas came to life in the first half scoring 10 points of his 13 points (4-9 FG, 3-8 3PT) when the Vikings needed buckets to get back into the game. He has a nice touch with range from the outside. The potential international prospect led the attack for the Vikings as they cut the deficit to 35-33 at the half.
James Scott, a 6-5 senior guard, led Portland State with 21 points (7-15 FG, 2-7 3PT, 5-11 FT) to go along with four rebounds and three assists. He competed strongly and was aggressive on both ends of the floor, as was University of Washington transfer Elijah Hardy (16 points).
The 5-11 Ali spent the evening perfecting his free throws, making 13 of his 18 attempts in the second half to keep the Pilots ahead. Ali did a great job drawing fouls and added five rebounds, four assists, and two steals to his 28 points. Portland sealed the victory as the Vikings finally ran out of gas, not scoring a field goal for the final 4:45 of the game.
Field Goal Shooting: Portland 46% (28-61) – PSU 38% (24-63)
Points in Paint: Portland 48 – PSU 26
Fast Break Points: Portland 23 – PSU 9
Turnovers: Portland 13 – PSU 20
Portland (4-1) visits Oregon State (2-1) on December 10th while Portland State (0-1) hosts Northwest University (0-3) on December 8th.