Big Sky season ends in a big loss

Seniors, Sarah Hedgepeth and Jane Gowans, and junior Carrie Mitchell played their final game in Portland State uniforms this weekend, ending their career after a disappointing season.

Thursday night in Bozeman, Montana the ladies played against the Montana State Bobcats and were eaten alive atWorthington Arena 84-68, dropping to 6-21, 3-10 in Big Sky play.

Montana State was in control of the ball shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from behind the arc and 78.1 percent from the foul line, holding Portland State to an upsetting 36.4 percent from the field, 0-for-8 from the three-point range, and 71.4 percent from free throw. Senior Sheila Hutchinson notched a game-high 22 points and added 11 rebounds for Montana State’s victory that clinched them a spot in the 2004 Women’s Big Sky Championship and gave them their third consecutive victory, leaving them with only one game left to play in the regular season. Also in double digits were Kati Burrows with 19, Joanna Hixon with 14, and Jana Smith with11.

In a losing effort for the Vikings, Hedgepeth had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Tiffany Ward had a team-high 18 points, neither of which pulled PSU out of the gap they had created.

Saturday night was an even worse sight for PSU fans. The Viks played their last game of the season against the Big Sky’s undefeated Montana Lady Griz who went 25-4 on the season and 14-0 in conference play. Portland State was no match for UM and was dominated at both ends of the court. The result of the game was obvious early on when Montana beat up on undermanned

Portland State, and completed their perfect conference season with a 35-point win over PSU, 85-50. Just over five minutes into the game, Montana led 17-1 and had no problem after that.

At the break Montana was up 50-24 and led by as many as 38 points in the second half, intimidating Portland State’s eight healthy players. Julie Deming scored a game-high 19 points on 8 of 10 shooting and also added five assists and three steals, leading Montana State. Four other Grizzlies were in double digits. Juliann Keller, Hollie Tyler, and Crystal Baird all posted 11 and Brooklynn Lorenzen added 14 to the win.

The Lady Griz shot 60.4 percent from the floor, 50.0 percent from the three-point range and 75 percent from the foul line limiting their opponent to just 30.5 percent from the floor, 36.4 percent from behind the arc, and 71.4 percent from the charity strip.

If there were any positives for the Viks it was the two freshman guards, Ashley Brown and Heather Arns both put up double digits and combined for 22 of PSU’s 50 points. Hedgepeth closed her outstanding career with eight points and a game-high eleven rebounds. Hedgepeth ends her fourth and final year as Portland State’s all-time leading rebounder and seventh leading scorer.

Portland State closed off the regular season in 7th place with a final record of 6-22, 3-11 in Big Sky, and will not be attending the 2004 Women’s Big Sky Championship.