Men’s basketball splits pair of road games

The past weekend began as a skill test for the Portland State men’s basketball team. The Vikings had two games on the road against two .500 clubs: Idaho State (2-2) and Weber State (3-3). Until this weekend’s 87-77 victory over Idaho State in Pocatello, Idaho, the Vikings had not won a conference game.

Then on Saturday night, the Vikings took on a more resilient Weber State team that countered every move the Vikings had, especially in the second half. The Vikings fell 90-85.

On Friday, it was a second half run that made the difference in the end for the Vikings. They outscored Idaho State 51-36 in the second half to finish with the 10-point edge. Portland State seemed to be the more aggressive team, shooting 24 free throws to only seven by Idaho State for the game. They only missed on three of their attempts, shooting an impressive 87.5 percent from the line for the game (21-24).

Both teams hoisted up plenty of three-pointers, as Portland State put up 27, hitting 12 of them. The Bengals shot 31 threes, but hit only 11, shooting 35.5 percent to the Vikings’ 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Vikings won 36-28 in the battle of the boards and tied for turnovers with 11.

The high scorers for the Vikings were Anthony Lackey with 23 points and Jeb Ivey with 19. Lackey had five three pointers and also grabbed 10 boards. D’Marr Suggs and Jeremy Brown, who also recorded seven rebounds, were the top two scorers for Idaho State with 17 points apiece.

The Weber State matchup was virtually even throughout the entire game. Both teams shot exceptionally well, hitting better than 50 percent of their shots, the Vikings at 56.9 percent and the Wildcats at 52.6 percent for the game. But the Wildcats held a noticeable edge on the glass, 34-21. Once again Lackey led the Vikings in scoring with 27 and also gathered seven rebounds. Freshmen Billy Feeney recorded a double-double with 11 points and eight boards. Portland State hit a season best 14 three-pointers as a team, shooting 50 percent (14-28). But the Vikings had trouble stopping standout shooting guard Jermaine Boyette, who had 32 points for the Wildcats to lead all scores on 9-17 shooting from the field.

The Vikings are back home this week and will prepare for battle in the Stott Center Friday and Saturday night. First up will be Sacramento State on Friday at 7:05 p.m. PSU will host Northern Arizona the following evening, again at 7:05 p.m.