Catching up on the ladies

Catching up on the ladies

The season is coming to a close and women’s basketball has yet to make its mark in the Big Sky

Lisa Gilchrist

The Portland State women’s basketball team’s last week was entirely different from the week before. Losing back-to-back games on their home court was a bit of a disappointment for the ladies who played their last home game of the season.

Falling into 7th place in the eight-team Big Sky Conference, Portland State averaged just 43.5 points per game. The Viks lost to Idaho State by a disappointing 30 points, and fell to 7th place after losing to Weber State 53-43 Saturday night. The Viking 30-point loss against Idaho State was the worst home loss since the 2000 season when PSU fell to Vanderbilt, 97-56. During the first five minutes of the game against Idaho State, the Viking’s second leading scorer, Heidi Stuart, injured her left knee while driving to the hoop and will be out for the rest of the season. Stuart was the only Portland State player to start every game this season prior to last Saturday’s game.

This week Portland State (6-20, 3-9) is on the road, finishing up the 2003-04 regular season with games against Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday. Despite their earlier struggles the Viks are still in the race for a spot in the 2004 Women’s Big Sky Championship. The Viks have a possibility of finishing anywhere from fourth to seventh place. Of the 32 potential scenarios, Portland State qualifies in 16 of them. On the other hand, a loss to Montana State on Thursday would reduce the Viks’ chances to 4-16.

Montana State (12-13, 4-8) saw their three-game losing streak snapped last week with big wins at Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. In their game against Sacramento State, Junior guard Jana Smith, established a career-highs with 28 points and 11 boards in the Bobcats’ win over the Hornets. For a combination of both games last weekend, Montana State shot 47 percent from the field, and 40 percent from the three-point arc, limiting its opponents to 30 percent from the floor and 22 percent from behind the arc. With the two wins, the Bobcats can finish as high as 4th going on to the tournament. Last time the Viks played Montana State, Montana won 81-75.

Saturday night Portland State is playing the undefeated, number one team in the Big Sky – the Montana Grizzlies. Montana won its 13th straight game last week and plans to continue rolling. Leading scorer, Katie Edwards, averaged 12 points per game in both their road wins and Julie Deming was barely short of a game high with her 19 points.

In both games this year against Montana and Montana State the Vikings came up short, but only with a greater desire to knock ’em down next time. After starting this season with 15 players, Portland State’s active roster is down to eight healthy players.

However, Portland State has recently won three games in the conference, matching the amount of games it won in all pre-conference play. Both of this week’s games are on the road.