The Portland State men’s basketball team looks to keep a streak—and a shot at the postseason—alive on Saturday, when they face Northern Colorado on the road.
Fighting to stay alive
The Portland State men’s basketball team looks to keep a streak—and a shot at the postseason—alive on Saturday, when they face Northern Colorado on the road. The Vikings have never lost at home or away to the Bears in conference play, and have high hopes for the outcome of tomorrow’s contest.
Northern Colorado (20–6, 9–4 Big Sky) is second in the conference standing and has already secured a spot in the postseason tournament.
The Vikings come into Saturday’s game after Saturday’s game in sixth place after losing Northern Arizona last night, 86–85 in double overtime. DeAngelo Jones hit the game-winner with 11 seconds left in the second overtime.
Portland State (10–16, 5–8 Big Sky) defeated Northern Colorado 85–69 in their first meeting of the season. The loss for the Bears ended a six-game winning streak and was their first of the year in conference play. After the previous manhandling, the Vikings hope to see similar results.
Junior guard Melvin Jones led the Vikings with 18 points in last month’s meeting of the two teams. Though Portland State saw an atypical shooting percentage of just .419 from the floor, the Vikings owned the paint. Senior forward Jamie Jones recorded 13 rebounds to tie his career best, and was among five on the Portland State squad to chalk double digits.
If they hope to handle the Bears in the same fashion as last time, the Vikings will need to replicate their performance under the hoop and see the typically outstanding play of senior guard Dominic Waters.
The Bears have plenty of weapons of their own. The key matchup for Saturday will be the battle that takes place between guard Will Figures—Northern Colorado’s leading scorer at 16.5 points per game—and junior guard Paul Guede. Last time these two team leaders met, Guede was able to hold Figures to just 2 of 13 shooting for the night.
Regardless of the play under the hoop or on defense, Portland State can’t afford to shoot a paltry .419 again. If the Vikings hope to again best one of the top teams in the mid-majors, they will have to improve their shot selection and not settle for mid-range jumpers.
With only one game separating them from seventh place, the Vikings will need all the help they can get to make it to the Big Sky Conference Tournament, and winning on Saturday night might just be all the help they need.
Tip-off on Saturday is slated for 6 p.m. at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion in Greeley, Colo. The action can be followed through live stats at www.goviks.com or heard live on 800 AM, KPDQ.
Portland State Vikings
(10–16, 5–8 Big Sky)
Northern Colorado Bears
(20–6, 9–4 Big Sky)
Sat, 6 p.m.
Pos. Name Year
G Dominic Waters Sr.
G Melvin Jones Jr.
F Paul Guede Jr.
F Julius Thomas Sr.
F Jamie Jones Sr.