Portland’s best start in 14 years now includes a victory over a ranked team.
T.J. Campbell scored a season-high 23 points to lead the Pilots to a 61-56 upset of Minnesota (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) in the 76 Classic on Friday night at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Robin Smeulders added 13 points and Nik Raivio grabbed a season-best 11 rebounds for Portland (5-0), which plays No. 8 West Virginia for the tournament championship Sunday night.
Portland, which routed perennial power UCLA on Thursday night, has not won its first five games since going 6-0 to start the 1995-96 season.
“We’re on a great journey,” Pilots coach Eric Reveno said. “I told [the players] that I thought I wrote a great practice plan. But I can’t make up anything to duplicate the experience of the last couple of nights.”
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith, who guided Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA championship, praised Portland’s defense.
“Portland did a pretty good job of keeping us off balance,” he said. “They’d be in a zone at times. They’d be in a man-to-man. They’d trap. They did a good job of making you get to your third or fourth [offensive] option.”
Portland outrebounded Minnesota 42-33 to help offset 19 turnovers.
Great Job Portland Pilots!
Congratulations, Coach Reveno!
Way to beat those Gilded Gophers!
my two favorite teams: the University of Kentucky and whoever defeats Minnesota.