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PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior Taylor Ward tallied a season-high 14 points and set a new career-best with seven rebounds, but the Columbia women’s basketball team fell Friday night at Portland, 58-42.
First-year Tori Oliver and junior Amara Mbionwu also corralled seven boards, both season-highs, as Columbia outrebounded Portland 41-40. It was the second time this season the Lions tallied over 40 rebounds in a game.
Portland opened the game converting on 6-of-13 from the field, while the Lions went just 1-of-11 through the first eight minutes, but Miwa Tachibana swished a trey with 11:56 remaining to keep the Lions within striking distance at 13-7.
Out of the second media timeout, first-year Devon Roeper came away with a steal on the defensive end that Tachibana turned into three more on the other end, closing the Pilots’ lead to 13-10. It would be as close as Columbia would get in the half though, as the Pilots responded with an 11-0 run over the next 7:51 seconds to build a 24-10 advantage.
Out of the final media timeout, first-year Tori Oliver broke the Lions’ scoreless drought with a jumper from the free throw line. Unfortunately, the scoring struggles continued for Columbia, as Portland would carry a 30-16 lead into the halftime intermission.
The Pilots connected on 11-of-29 attempts (37.9 percent) from the floor in the first half, while Columbia managed to hit on only 4-of-26 field goals (15 percent). The Lions were active on the boards, grabbing 22 boards, including 10 off the offensive glass. Taylor Ward led the rebounding effort, securing five in the first 20 minutes.
Columbia’s long range shooting started to click in the initial stages of the second half. With Ward hitting two from behind the arc and Tachibana knocking down her third of the game, the Lions went on a 10-4 run to get within eight at the 15:39 mark.
The squads traded scores over the next six minutes, with Ward and Courtney Bradford keeping the Lions within nine, 43-34, as each hit a pair of free throws. It would be as close as Columbia would get though, as Portland pulled away from Columbia over the final 10 minutes of action to finish with a 58-42 victory.
Columbia is back in action Sunday afternoon when it concludes its trip to Portland against the Portland State Vikings. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.