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Nicholas scores 22 as Portland defeats Idaho State 51-48

Ryan Nicholas had 22 points and eight rebounds as Portland defeated Idaho State 51-48 Thursday night.

Kevin Bailey added 12 points for the Pilots (1-1), who shot 45.5 percent from the floor.

Chris Hansen led Idaho State (0-2) with 15 points and Neveij Walters had 10.

After a back-and-forth first half, Idaho State went scoreless for the first 6½ minutes after the break. Tanner Riley hit a 3-pointer and Nicholas also made a basket to put Portland ahead 35-29 with 14:19 remaining. The Bengals twice got within one point, the latest coming after a Melvin Morgan jumper with 6 minutes left to make it 45-44.

But Nicholas and Korey Thieleke answered with baskets for the Pilots to put the game away.

Idaho State shot just 33 percent in the second half after hitting 48 percent of its shots before the break. The Bengals were 2 for 6 from the free-throw line.