Portland Pilots

Pilots lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Santa Clara Broncos

Portland Pilots

There was a battle on The Bluff Thursday, and it literally took every second of action to determine a winner.

The Pilots (10-8, 7-5 West Coast Conference) welcomed the Santa Clara Broncos (12-7, 8-5 WCC) and it was a slugfest.

The two played neck and neck all game, with Portland holding the 33-32 lead at halftime.

Portland went on a run midway through the third quarter to grab an eight-point lead with 3:13 left in the period, their largest of the game. However, the Pilots couldn't fend off the Broncos, as Santa Clara ended the quarter on a 10-0 run to take the 53-51 lead heading to the fourth.

The fourth quarter was wild, as the two teams were tied four times, and the lead changed hands six times.

Of all the swings back and forth, none were more important than the two in the final seconds of the game.

Trailing 74-73, the Pilots turned to freshman Emme Shearer. The 6'0" guard drilled the perfect catch and shoot three from the top of the arc to give Portland the two-point lead with 27 seconds left to play.

But Santa Clara answered when Merle Wiehl hit a three of her own to give the Broncos the lead back with just four seconds remaining. 

Portland had one last chance to win but the Broncos defense smothered the Pilots. Alex Fowler found herself doubled, and the Broncos sealed off every possible outlet. Fowler was forced to throw up what would have been the game-tying shot, but it banked off the back of the rim and out. 

 

Final Score: Broncos 77 - Pilots 76

Next up: The Pilots will host the San Francisco Dons on Saturday, February 13th. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Chiles Center, and you can catch the action live on NBC Sports Northwest.