Thompson’ 15 points helps Portland win its first game
FRESNO, Calif. (AP)—Walter Thompson came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points and reserve Jared Stohl sparked a Portland run in the second half to lead the Pilots to a 73-62 win over Liberty on Sunday.
Stohl scored nine of his 12 points in the second half, including consecutive 3-pointers midway through the half, increasing Portland’s lead to 53-44.
Portland (1-2) pulled away two minutes later with an 8-1 run. Robin Smeulders started it with a score in the post. Luke Sikma then made two free throws and with 7:58 left, Sikma stole a pass intended for Alex McLean and Stohl hit one of his four 3-pointers.
Portland sealed the nonconference game by converting 21 of 26 free throws and 53 percent of its 3-pointers (8-for-15). The Pilots bench outscored Liberty reserves 40-9.
Liberty dropped to 0-3 this season despite a 19-point performance by forward Alex McLean. He went 6-for-15 from the field and added 10 rebounds and five turnovers. Guard TeeJay Bannister added 17.
Portland led for most of the game, and by as much as eight in the first half. Sikma added 10 points and 10 rebounds with six assists and four steals.