The Vikings hope to steal two games this week from two top conference programs. This could potentially be the last week of the season for the Vikings basketball squad. However there is a slight chance it could make postseason play with two upset victories at home this weekend. First, on Thursday night, the Vikings host Idaho State. Then, on Saturday night, it is the conference-leading Weber State Wildcats.
After winning their first two home games in conference, the Vikings are currently on an eight-game skid. The Vikings trail Sacramento State and Northern Arizona by two games at this point in the season for the last spot in the Big Sky tournament.
The situation says if Portland State prevails in both games this week and Sac State and NAU lose both of their games, there will be a three-way tie for sixth place. The tie would be decided by conference wins over opponents. Meaning if the Vikings beat first-place Weber State, they would earn the sole position of sixth place and a head of steam into the playoffs.
Idaho State pulled out a one-point victory in the last game Feb. 1, 58-57. It is 6-6 in conference action, 13-12 overall and is attempting to finish strong so it can earn a home game to begin postseason play.
Weber State is sitting at 12-0 in the conference. The Wildcats handled the Vikings’ intensity in Ogden on Jan. 30 to emerge victorious, 77-64. They are sitting in first place and trying to be the first undefeated Big Sky team since the 1968-69 Weber State team did it going 15-0. Also, the Vikings will have their hands full, strategizing their defense around conference-leading scorer Jermaine Boyette, who averages 20.1 points per game.
Seniors Kevin Briggs and Jeb Ivey need to continue their solid play though the close of the regular season. This could potentially be the final week of play for both senior guards. The two have started virtually every game this season and have produced the most consistent flow of points on offense. Ivey remains fourth in scoring in conference play at 14.8 points per game. Briggs is 12th with a 12.1 average a game.
Ivey leads the league in free-throw percentage, and Briggs is seventh in steals. No matter what the record of the team shows, these two senior guards have given a constant effort at practice and after hours. Saturday will feature senior night for Briggs and Ivey, who are the only two seniors on the team.
Tonight and Saturday’s games are at 7 p.m. in the Peter Stott Center.