OVC Ball Statbox
|1-2 (0-0 OVC)|
|3-0 (0-0 WCC)|
|22/56 (39.3%)||Field Goals||31/65 (47.7%)|
|4/19 (21.1%)||3-Point FG||9/22 (40.9%)|
|5/8 (62.5%)||Free Throws||4/9 (44.4%)|
|28 (8/20)||Rebounds (O/D)||44 (16/28)|
|2nd Chance Pts|
|Points off TO|
|Pts in the Paint|
Tempo Tracker (Possessions)
|Points:||Jackson (13)||Gerun (21)|
|Rebounds:||Jackson (6)||Gerun (8)|
|Assists:||Carr (5)||Wintering (6)|
|Steals:||Messer, Stewart (2)||Wintering (2)|
Portland scored the first eight points Saturday night and never trailed, rolling past visiting SIUE 75-53.
“I didn’t think we stuck to the game plan from the defensive end,” SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. “It was all about defense and less to do with our offense. We didn’t do what we worked on and what we practiced. They went out to an 8-0 start because we weren’t sticking to the game plan to start the game.”
Portland was fueled by eight first-half three-pointers, and carried a 46-28 lead into the break. The Pilots were 18 of 36 from the field over the first 20 minutes.
“They’re a good basketball team and they play well together and did some really good things,” Forrester added.
The Pilots scored 10 of the first 11 points to start the second half to build a 27-point lead, their largest of the game, and forcing SIUE to call a timeout.
The Cougars used an 8-2 run to trim the lead to 21 thanks to six points on a pair of three-pointers from freshman Keenan Simmons.
“In the second half I thought we did some better things,” Forrester said. “We were trying to make a run and we got about three straight stops but every time we came down at our end we had a turnover or didn’t finish.”
Simmons finished with a career-high 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He was 3 for 4 from three-point range.
“Keenan does such a great job coming in and giving us some energy off the bench,” Forrester said of Simmons. “He comes in, knocks down some shots, gets rebounds, and he keeps the ball alive on the offensive end. He’s so long and athletic he can do a lot of things.”
Keaton Jackson led the Cougars with 13 points. He and Michael Messer each pulled down six rebounds to lead the way. Freshman C.J. Carr had a career-best 10 points. He added five assists and no turnovers.
“C.J. has to continue to do that. That’s what we need out of him,” Forrester said. “We need points and assists with no turnovers. He’s learning as he’s going. He’s a freshman and it takes some time especially at the guard position.”
Volodymyr Gerun led Portland with a game-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Kevin Bailey added 12 points for the Pilots.
SIUE remains in Portland and will play at Portland State Monday night. Game time is set for 9:05 p.m. CT.
“It’s going to take a lot of mental preparation,” Forrester said. “We need to be mentally sharp. It’s a tough one to swallow here, but at the same time there’s another game on Monday.”