More than a handful

Head coach Ken Bone would have to hold out two hands to show with his fingers the number of wins on Portland State’s current winning streak, as the Vikings reeled off two more victories this past week to bring the streak to six straight games.

Head coach Ken Bone would have to hold out two hands to show with his fingers the number of wins on Portland State’s current winning streak, as the Vikings reeled off two more victories this past week to bring the streak to six straight games.

Solidifying their place atop the Big Sky standings, the Vikings picked up a pair of conference victories this past week, out-hustling Northern Arizona to win 71-68 Thursday and stomping the Sacramento State Hornets to the tune of a 79-56 score Saturday.

Portland State (15-8, 8-2 BSC) entered the weekend in sole possession of first place in the Big Sky and responded like a true title contender. With a target on their backs for the first time all season, the Vikings came out and secured the first weekend road sweep of the Ken Bone era.

“Anytime you can win two in a row on the road, it’s a great trip,” said Bone. “I think that’s the first time we’ve done that since I’ve been here, so, I thought the kids played well and responded well.”

It took a total team effort from the Vikings to pull out a win over second place Northern Arizona (15-9, 7-4 BSC) Thursday. Bone played all 11 players who traveled and needed everything he could get out of each of them.

“If we take 10 guys (to Northern Arizona), maybe we don’t get the win,” Bone said. “But all 11 contributed and our bench was outstanding.”

Junior guard Jeremiah Dominguez led the way with 14 points and six assists, but it was the second unit that helped the Vikings hold on to the lead. Freshman guard Justynn Hammond tossed in eight points and sophomore Kyle Coston scored six as the reserves combined for 26 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 6 of 9 from beyond the three point line.

Still, Portland State was not out of the woods. The Lumberjacks cut the lead to two with less than a minute left, and senior guard Deonte Huff missed three free throws in the final 24 seconds. But somehow the Vikings were able to come out with a huge road victory.

“I felt we just wanted it more,” Bone said. “Down the stretch there were a few loose balls and we had guys literally diving on the floor to make a play. I thought we won it with our aggressive play at both ends.”

Versus Sacramento State on Saturday, senior center Scott Morrison, a native of British Columbia, took over. The big Canadian dominated the Hornets (4-18, 2-9 BSC) on his way to 18 points, and 11 rebounds, and tied a school record with six blocked shots in only 22 minutes of action.

“Morrison had a really good weekend and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s considered for the Big Sky Player of the Week,” Bone said.

The Vikings went on a 20-2 run to open the second half against the Hornets and led by 36 with nearly nine minutes left to play.

The win gave the Vikings their longest winning streak since Bone took over the program in 2005, but the laid back coach tries to keep his team focused on the task at hand.

“I hate to sound boring, but really it’s just one game at a time,” Bone said. “The winning streak isn’t that important. It’s always good to win, but there’s more to focus on. Some of our guys might not even know we’re on a winning streak.”

As Portland State looks forward to its second week sitting in first place, the road ahead does lead back to home, but it does not get any easier. Fourth place Idaho State (9-14, 6-4 BSC) comes to town Thursday, and second place Weber State (12-10, 7-3 BSC) will be looking to knock off the Vikings for the second time this season on Saturday.

Morrison honored for on-court antics:

By the conclusion of Portland State’s 79-58 victory over Sacramento State Saturday night, Scott Morrison’s name was plastered across nearly every inch of the box score. Morrison pieced together his fifth double-double of the season in a dramatic fashion, scoring 18 points, snatching a season-high 11 rebounds and tying his own school record with six blocked shots. This performance earned him the Big Sky Player of the Week award.

For the 6-foot-11 senior center, it was just one of those games, as he knocked down all six field-goal attempts and his only miss came on a night where he hit six of seven free throws from the charity stripe. Morrison also reached the 1,000-point plateau against the Hornets, becoming the 16th Viking to achieve that mark during their career.

This is the third time Morrison has won the award in his Portland State career and the second consecutive week a Viking has been honored, as junior point guard Jeremiah Dominguez took home the hardware for Big Sky Player of the Week seven days ago.

Morrison’s domination

Vs. Northern Arizona Points 12Rebounds 3Blocks 2FG Shooting 5 of 7

Vs. Sacramento State Points 18Rebounds 11Blocks 6FG Shooting 6 of 6