The Portland State women’s basketball holiday season has been un-joyful and not very triumphant. The Vikings’ record has been a dismal 2-5 since fall term ended in the second week of December. The combination of strong opponents and several games of cold shooting from the field made it a tough month for Portland State, who now stand at 4-11 overall and 0-2 in the Big Sky Conference.
The Portland State women’s basketball holiday season has been un-joyful and not very triumphant. The Vikings’ record has been a dismal 2-5 since fall term ended in the second week of December.
The combination of strong opponents and several games of cold shooting from the field made it a tough month for Portland State, who now stand at 4-11 overall and 0-2 in the Big Sky Conference.
The team began its winter break with a heartbreaking loss to the Portland Pilots on Dec. 9, in which a second-half rally to overcome a 16-point deficit fell just short. After traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii the next weekend, they ran into more tough luck, dropping consecutive games to Chattanooga and Evansville.
Upon returning home a few days later, the Vikings destroyed Idaho 77-48 in front of the home crowd at the Stott Center on Dec. 20. The team’s road woes continued with a 65-52 loss to Nevada in Reno on Dec. 28.
The brightest spot on the team’s recent schedule came on Dec. 30, in a thrilling home game against Utah Valley State. Trailing 76-66 late in the second quarter, the Vikings ended regulation on an 11-1 run to force overtime, eventually winning on a tie-breaking free throw by Heather Arns with 2.7 seconds remaining, courtesy of a technical foul on Utah Valley State’s head coach.
More recently, the Vikings dropped their last two games to Big Sky dominators Montana and Montana State over the weekend. The losses were a result of ice-cold shooting from the field, a persistent problem as of late. On Thursday, in an 85-67 loss to Montana, the team shot an uninspiring 32.3 percent. Saturday was no better, as the Vikings hit just 31.9 of their field goal attempts.
The Vikings must turn things around quickly. The rest of this season’s schedule, beginning with the past two games against the Montana schools, consists of only Big Sky Conference opponents. With 14 games still on the schedule, the Vikings still have time to salvage a season that has been, at least to this point, unfulfilling. Despite the recent troubles, one consistent positive has been the outstanding play of sophomore forward Kelsey Kahle.
Kahle was recently named Big Sky co-player of the week for the second time this season, earning the title first on Dec. 19, then more recently on Jan. 2. One look at Kahle’s numbers, and it’s easy to see why she is a threat to capture Big Sky honors on any given week. Before Saturday’s streak-snapping loss, she had scored in double digits in 19 consecutive games. On the season, she is averaging 17.6 points per game and is shooting the lights out at a .448 clip from the field. In addition, her 92 rebounds lead the team and her average of three steals per game leads the Big Sky.
Kahle and the Vikings will resume play next Friday, as they host Weber State at 7 p.m. at the Stott Center. The game is the Vikings’ first at home against a conference team this season. The following night, Eastern Washington pays a visit, again scheduled for 7 p.m. The Vikings have had success at the Stott Center this season, posting a 4-2 home record.