College hoop begins in Portland

Pilots taken down by Seattle, 84-72, in season opener
Staff Report
Chase Ali drives to the basket Friday.
Photo courtesy Univ. of Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The University of Portland men's basketball team opened the 2020-21 season with an 84-72 loss to the Seattle U Redhawks in the first game of the U.S. Bank Portland Invitational Wednesday night at the Chiles Center.

Ahmed Ali and Chase Adams scored 13 points apiece, while Clythus Griffith Jr. added 10 points off the bench to lead the Pilots.

Portland led by 10 points early in the second half, but Seattle U knocked down 8-of-15 three-pointers after the break, gained a 12-2 edge in second chance points and a 17-6 margin in turnovers to turn the tables and pull away late.

Riley Grigsby scored a game-high 28 points to pace the Redhawks, while Darrion Trammell and Emeka Udenyi added 17 and 12, respectively.

The Pilots and Redhawks agreed to meet on short notice – late Tuesday night – after the tournament schedule was upended due to COVID-19-related issues. Seattle U was originally scheduled to play Idaho Wednesday at 2 p.m. and the Pilots were set to open the season on Friday against Idaho.

Despite the quick prep, Portland came out with a strong early effort and raced out to an early lead. Ali scored eight points out the gates and Griffith Jr. drilled his second three-pointer of the period to give the Pilots a 29-24 lead. Adams spurred a late first half run with a pair of baskets to the push the margin to double-digits before Portland took a 39-31 lead into halftime.