Online exclusive: Women’s basketball defeats Idaho State

Portland State women’s basketball set a program record for the best three-point shooting back in 1989.

Portland State women’s basketball set a program record for the best three-point shooting back in 1989. On Monday night, junior guard Eryn Jones broke it.

Jones shot a perfect 6 of 6 from downtown on her way to a career-high 21 points in Portland State’s 89-79 win over visiting Idaho State. With Jones and two others above the 20-point mark, the Vikings earned their first conference win of the season.

The Vikings (8-8, 1-2 Big Sky) came out to win, and in the first five minutes, Jones went three-for-three from outside the arc. After Jones’ spur of treys, sophomore guard Courtney VanBrocklin earned a fast break that put the Viks in the lead 13-3.

Head coach Sherri Murrell said that Jones had an outstanding performance and came back after some struggles early on in the season.

“She just read all the screening right,” Murrell said. “If they went under a ball-screen, she stopped, popped and hit a three.”

After the Vikings made their opening appearance, the Bengals recovered and went on a nine-point run midway through the first half. With just over three minutes left until the break, the visiting team grabbed a two-point lead.

But it was Portland State that went into the locker room ahead after pulling in front, 46-41. Strong shooting from the trio of Jones, VanBrocklin and freshman forward Allie Brock kept the Vikings in the game. Brock led the team with her career-high 22 points, and VanBrocklin tied her career-best with 20.

Even with hot shooting from PSU, the Bengals stayed in the game and found themselves up by as much as six throughout the match-up. ISU led the battle of the turnovers, forcing 20 and giving up 17. Even so, both Jones and Murrell said the Vikings were able to stay calm and focused at those points and quickly get back on track.

“I think it was good that we didn’t freak out and throw away the ball,” Jones said. “We would get a turnover and we’d say ‘Okay, we’re going to get a stop.’ We just stayed in control.”

The Viks again took control of the ball after the break, and once again, Idaho State answered back. Brock grabbed a fast break in the opening minutes to set the score at 48-41.

Next it was the Bengals’ turn, and they went on an eight-point run. Their high scorer of the game, sophomore guard Kaela Oakes, completed the run with a three to put them ahead 58-52. Oakes finished the night with a game-high 28 points.

After Brock put the score even at 58-all, the Bengals came close but never again saw the lead. The Vikings went up to the charity stripe on five occasions in the final minute of the match, but Idaho State was unable to grab enough rebounds to catch the home team. VanBrocklin sealed the 10-point victory with a pair of free throws.

Murrell said that even though Idaho State made some successful runs during the night, she felt that the Vikings did not allow it to affect their focus.

“I felt like we never put our heads down when we make mistakes,” Murrell said. “This year, in the last four or five games, we’ll get our heads down and not really stay in it. I thought tonight they made runs, we made runs, we just never got our heads down and we stayed positive and stayed with the game plan.”

Behind the three players with 20-plus points, junior center Courtney Cremer grabbed eight points off the bench and starter senior forward Kelli Valentine scored six with four rebounds. VanBrocklin led the team off the boards with the game-high eight rebounds.

This first conference win is a big one for the Viks. The reigning Big Sky Champions have a lot to live up to this season. Jones said this win got the team back into their usual flow. Murrell agreed and added that increasing their performance off the boards and focusing on good ball handling will keep the Viks in the upcoming games.

The Vikings hit the road again for their next match-up, where PSU takes on Weber State at 6 p.m. Thursday. The game can be watched through Big Sky TV.


Players of the Game


Eryn Jones

Junior, guard

21 total points

6-6 three point field goals

6 total rebounds

6 assists 


Kaela Oakes

Sophomore, guard

28 total points

5-7 three point field goals

2 total rebounds

2 assists