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Titans tied for 1st after win at Portland

Lucas Wilson, men's basketball
Lucas Wilson attempts a free throw.

The Titans never made it easy in their win at single-digit win Portland, 83-79.

How it happened: The first three points went to Portland, but the Titans quickly came back with the next six. The Titans lead grew to seven, 16-9, 6:26 into the 1st half after a 10-1 run. Portland responded with a 6-0 run to cut their deficit to one with 11:25 remaining. The Titans again claimed a seven-point lead, 28-21, with 4:24 remaining. Portland finished on a 16-7 run and the game was tied at 37 at half.

The Titans shot a solid 44.8 percent but made 4-14 threes (28.6 percent) and struggled with 12 fouls. Portland really struggled from the field at 36.1 percent and 4-11 from three but used seven more field goal attempts to stay even. Lucas Wilson had eight points and two rebounds but also had three fouls; Tarik Cool had seven points and four rebounds; Will Graves and Lezjon Bonds had seven points off the bench, Graves added four rebounds.

The 2nd half was back-and-fourth, but it remained tied at 47 less than six minutes into the half. Neither team extended their lead past two possession as the game was tied at 67 with 5:03 remaining. The Titans managed a 14-10 run over the final 3:53 to pull out a win that saw Cody Mathis and Lucas Wilson foul out.

The Titans shot 53.1 percent and 45.5 percent from three (5-11). Their problem lie in the 21 foul shots (13 made) from Portland due to 14 fouls. Tarik Cool had 15 points on 6-10 shooting; Cody Mathis had two points and six rebounds; Tashon Brown had nine points; Lezjon Bonds had six points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists off the bench.

What/who stood out: 49.2 percent from the floor is their best in six games…nine made threes is a bounce back from one made vs Clark…36 percent from three their best in eight games and makes 16 of 17 games at or under 40 percent…six offensive rebounds is their fewest in 10 games…four turnovers is their fourth game in five with fewer than 10; 10th such game overall and haven't had more than 18 in any of their 22 games…26 fouls is their first 20 plus game in five games; two of their three losses have come with 20 plus fouls.

Tarik Cool had his first 20-point game in four games; he added six rebounds, two assists and one steal…Lezjon Bonds 13 points gives him four straight double-figure games after only three such games in the previous eight; he added four rebounds, tied a career-high with four steals and dished out three assists…Lucas Wilson missed out on a double-double for his second straight game with 12 points and six rebounds; Wilson had four double-doubles in five games…Cody Mathis missed his sixth straight double-double after four points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal…Tashon Brown had 12 points and two assists; Brown hadn't scored in double-figures in four straight after seven straight in double-figures.

What it means: The Titans tie Umpqua (after their loss at Clackamas) at 10-2 for 1st place with four games remaining. They're 2nd in the NWAC with 21 wins and only three losses.

What's next: The Titans host 5th place Linn-Benton (14-10, 8-5) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.