Thursday was another tough night for Trail Blazers fans, and we won’t bother mentioning the college basketball games down in the Willamette Valley, but it was a fun night for the Division I basketball teams from Portland. The men’s teams at Portland State and Portland both won at home — the Vikings in unlikely fashion. And the PSU women won a second consecutive conference game.
All three wins were satisfying, to be sure. But the most thrilling happened at Viking Pavilion, where a 3-pointer by Hunter Woods as time expired lifted the PSU men to a 75-74 win over visiting Northern Arizona.
That play capped an unlikely finish as Portland State overcame a late six-point deficit for its second consecutive Big Sky Conference win.
Playing at home for the first time since Dec. 17 and only the fifth time this season, the Portland State men surged to a 17-point lead in the first half. The margin was 10 at halftime, but the NAU Lumberjacks led for much of the second half and appeared to have the game won in the final minute.
Woods hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to make it a two-point game. Then Nik Mains and Carson Towt each missed a pair of foul shots to open the door for Woods to win the game.
Woods finished with 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 3s. Cameron Parker had 19 points and 11 assists. Only three of those assists came after halftime as the Viks' offense struggled, but two of them were on Wood’s two closing 3-pointers.
PSU (8-9, 2-2 Big Sky) is back home Saturday against Northern Colorado hoping to build on the momentum of this emotional win.
• The PSU women got 30 points from sophomore Esmeralda Morales and took control with a 30-point third quarter in a nice road win. It’s the second conference win in a row for a program that was 0-20 in conference last season. Even better, the wins over Idaho and NAU are over teams picked to finish in the top half of the conference.
• The Portland men got back Moses Wood (20 points) and got back to winning, making the plays and shots down the stretch to outlast USF in an entertaining West Coast Conference Thursday battle that had 15 lead changes and six ties, but saw the Pilots prevail by getting the ball inside down the stretch. Tyler Robertson (23 points) and Kristian Sjolund (21 points) came up big late and finished a combined 20 of 20 from the foul line.
Suffice it to say that Portland’s performance on ESPNU Thursday was much more watchable than Oregon’s embarassment on FS1. The Ducks had no fight. We know that injuries have prevented this group from jelling, but the lack of intensity was alarming in a home game that was pretty much over 10 minutes in.
Meanwhile, in Corvallis, the Beavers at least showed plenty of fight in a loss to No. 9 Arizona. OSU really never was a threat to the Wildcats, but at least the Beavers seemed interested.
Both Oregon and Portland have nationally televised opportunities on Saturday. The Pilots visit Gonzaga (7 p.m., ESPN2), a Zags team that won by one over BYU on Thursday. The Ducks host ninth-ranked Arizona (3 p.m., ESPN). Fortunately for the Ducks, we’ll all be watching the Seahawks-Niners.
Probably the most interesting college basketball game Saturday will be between the Gonzaga and Portland women, a 5 p.m. clash at Chiles Center (TV on KRCW).
Pac-12 women’s basketball — The No. 21 Oregon Ducks survived a scare from Washington in a 65-58 Friday win at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon closed on a 14-6 run and on a night it struggled on offense was rescued by Taya Hanson's 4-for-4 3-point shooting ... At Corvallls Friday, Washington State outscored Oregon State by 10 in the second half and won 63-56 in a game the Beavers made only five of 23 3-point shots. The teams swap opponents Sunday for noon games.
Timbers preseason roster — The Timbers have exercised their option on Brazilian forward Nathan Fogaca for 2023 with another club option for 2024. Fogaca, 23, joined the Timbers last May and had two goals in his debut. He made four starts in 11 appearances.
Here is Portland's training camp roster as announced on Friday, Jan. 13:
Goalkeepers: Zack Andoh (youth academy player), Ryan Bilichuk (draft pick), David Bingham, Aljaz Ivacic, Hunter Sulte
Defenders: Pablo Bonilla, Claudio Bravo, Julian Bravo (T2), Tyler Clegg (draft pick), Jaden Jones-Riley (draft pick), Sawyer Jura (youth academy player), Larrys Mabiala, Zac McGraw, Juan David Mosquera, Adrian Pelayo (youth academy player), Justin Rasmussen, Bill Tuiloma, Dario Zuparic.
Midfielders: David Ayala, Sebastián Blanco, Noel Caliskan (draft pick), Diego Chara, Yimmi Chara, Victor Enriquez (youth academy player), Evander, Marvin Loría, Dawson McCartney (T2), Christian Mendoza (youth academy player), Selmir Misic (T2), Alex Moreno (youth academy player), Santiago Moreno, Joshua Penn (T2), Cristhian Paredes, Ian Shaul (youth academy player), Eryk Williamson.
Forwards: Dairon Asprilla, Grayson Carter (youth academy player), Nathan Fogaça, Diego Gutierrez, Tega Ikoba, Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Ryan Zellefrow (youth academy player).
Kraken blank Bruins — Seattle’s hockey team continues to win, and Thursday’s was perhaps the most impressive of the season as they handed Boston its first loss in regulation at home all season. In their seventh consecutive win, the Kraken got a 27-save shutout from Martin Jones, his second in a row.
Winterhawks — Portland wraps up its East Division swing with challenging matchups on Friday ay Moose Jaw and on Saturday against a Regina team that features Connor Bedard, the soon-to-be No. 1 NHL Draft pick. both games start at 5 p.m. PT.
Three Winterhawks are listed in the NHL Central Scouting rankings of draft-eligible North American players. Defenseman Luca Cagnoni is rated 34th among North American skaters, defender Carter Sotheran is rated 89th. Goalie Jan Spunar is rated No. 11 among goalies playing in North America.