As if missing the playoffs wasn’t painful enough. In the final seconds of Saturday night’s contest, the Idaho State University Bengals’ Tomas Sanchez hit a game-winning jump shot to beat Portland State 72-71. With the defeat, the Vikings finished their season 8-20 overall and 5-15 in the Big Sky Conference. The team was 0-14 on the road this season.
The Portland Winterhawks are clearly the Western Hockey League’s best team—most nights. The Hawks were dumbstruck Saturday night as they fell 4-2 to the Everett Silvertips on the road. After a five-game winning streak, Portland has lost three in a row, stifling the momentum they would have liked to carry into the postseason. The loss to Everett was undoubtedly the most improbable during that streak.
On Saturday night, for the second night in a row, the Portland Winterhawks won big on the road against Prince George. Just as they did on Friday, the Hawks scored three goals in the first period, though this time were even quicker about it. Oliver Bjorkstrand found the net just 23 seconds into the contest, and Brendan Leipsic scored twice on the power play before the middle of the period as the Hawks cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Cougars.
Portland State’s men’s basketball team snapped an eight-game losing streak on Valentine’s Day last week, handily beating the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah University 90-69. Six Vikings players, including all five starters, scored at least 10 points in an upset of one of the Big Sky Conference’s top teams. The Vikings avenged a 13-point road loss to the Thunderbirds just a few weeks ago.
The Portland Winterhawks were shocked Wednesday night by the visiting Calgary Hitmen, who took their first lead of the game with just 90 seconds left to play and held on for a 4-3 victory.
Without a doubt, the 2012–13 Portland Winterhawks are something special. The 4,322 fans that attended Wednesday night’s comeback win at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum would attest to this statement. Playing host to the Kamloops Blazers, a conference rival with championship aspirations of their own, the Hawks found nothing easy in the first period.
After losing to Southern Utah University on Thursday night, the men’s basketball team remained winless on the road this season. Despite strong play from Aaron Moore and Lateef McMullan, Portland State was dominated down low as they continue to struggle with injuries in their frontcourt. Key contributor Renado Parker continued his comeback from an ankle injury but played limited minutes in the loss.
The Portland Winterhawks lost their second game in a row on Saturday night, falling 4-3 in Seattle. It was only the second time they’ve done so this season, and the first time since Oct. 9. Portland had won eight of 10 against the Thunderbirds this year.
There’s a new mayor in Rip City.
Nearly halfway through the 2012–13 season, the Portland Trail Blazers suddenly find themselves in an unexpected role—as playoff contenders. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the consistent, all-star level player that Blazers fans have come to take for granted, and Portland boasts a number of roleplayers who have stayed in their lane and answered when called upon. The roster has gelled much more quickly than predicted, providing an unexpected counterargument to the status quo in the Northwest Division standings.
Winterhawks fans got a much more suspenseful game than expected on Friday, as Portland headed into its contest with the Kootenay Ice equipped with the WHL’s best record, while Kootenay had one of the league’s worst. The Ice played well above their record, however, and were either tied or in the lead for most of the game.
By crosstown bus ride or 1,900-mile flight, the Portland State men’s basketball squad will travel off campus to face two strong nonconference opponents this week.