Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Ryan Nicholas recorded a double-double with 12 points and the same number of rebounds to help the Portland Pilots edge the Bradley Braves, 57-55, in the Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena.
Derrick Rodgers also tallied 12 points for Portland (7-7) as it picked up its fourth win in five outings. Oskars Reinfelds chipped in 10 points and Riley Barker grabbed 10 boards.
Dyricus Simms-Edwards paced Bradley (8-4) with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Will Egolf and Walt Lemon Jr. contributed 10 points each for the Braves, who have now lost two in a row.
Bradley came out of the gate cold to hit just 28 percent of its field goal attempts in the opening period. The Pilots knocked down 40.7 percent of their shots from the floor in the first half, but went into halftime with a narrow 28-27 edge on the scoreboard after sinking just 2-fo-4 at the free throw line.
Portland improved after the break to convert 47.8 percent of its attempts from the field. The Braves continued to struggle as netted only 34.5 percent of their field goal tries in the final 20 minutes. Jake Eastman tied the game at 48 with 6:24 left to play with a made free throw, but Reinfelds put the Pilots back on top for good with a made layup just over two minutes later. Bradley had two chances in the final minute, but Simms-Edwards and Egolf both missed potential go-ahead three-point attempts which sealed the deal for the Pilots.
The reserves played a huge role as Portland outscored Bradley, 28-2, in bench points.