Vikings Basketball falls short in Saturday’s overtime thriller

Portland State Vikings Men’s Basketball fell short in its bid to upset Big Sky’s current conference leaders Weber State Wildcats on Feb. 11th at the Peter W. Stott Center. WSU would come away with the win in overtime 96–93. The loss dropped the Vikings to 12–11 overall, 5–7 Big Sky, placing eighth in conference with a record of 8–3 at home.

WSU arrived at the Stott Center after a 77–74 point road loss against Sacramento State. PSU Vikings had high hopes after snapping a four-game losing streak and kept it close in the opening minutes of the game. At the 13 minute mark in the first half, the Wildcats began a run that initiated their pull away from the Vikings, extending their lead to 8 points at 22–14. Soon after, WSU extended its lead again by 10 points with a game score of 28–18.

PSU struggled to cut into WSU’s lead for most of the first half before going on a run of its own. Vikings player De’Sean Parsons delivered his signature layup, putting an end to the Wildcats’ opening lead. Parsons tilted the momentum in favor of the Vikings as they slowly chipped away at the lead. With 4:14 left in the first half, Montie Leunen managed to get a layup in. Leunen scored again after being fouled, allowing his free throw to cut the lead down to 1 point with a score of 32–31.

However, that was the closest the Vikings would get to leading the game as the Wildcats took advantage of Viking defense. WSU quickly extended its lead back to 8 points. In the last minute of the first half, a pair of free throws by Viking Calaen Robinson and a layup from Parsons cut the Bengal’s lead down to 4 points. A dunk at the buzzer by Viking Traylin Farris was waved off for PSU. WSU lead at the half 45–41.

As the second half started, the Vikings kept the score tight with the Wildcats. At 15:45 the game was tied at 50 a piece. The game was again tied at 53 nearly a minute later and again at 57. Calaen Robinson gave the lead back to the Vikings with a driving layup, while Bryce Canda hit a three from Robinson, allowing PSU to hold a 4 point lead at 68–64.

The Vikings used this momentum to pull away from the Wildcats. With 5:04 left in the game, a pair of free throws from Parsons pushed the Vikings’ lead to 8 points at 78–70, the biggest PSU lead of the game.

The crowd’s mood changed quickly as the Wildcats took over the final minutes of the game. At 1:20 the Wildcats hit a three to put them up by 1 point. Both teams battled back and forth as the final seconds started to run off of the game clock. A missed jumper looked to seal the Vikings’ fate. Traylin Farris was fouled on the attempted put-back and made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 83. Neither team could end the game and the buzzer sounded as the teams headed into overtime.

PSU scored the first points in overtime although both the Wildcats and Vikings traded leads several times. The game came down to a couple of free throws with the Vikings trailing by 1 point. The Wildcats were successful at the line, extending their lead to 3 points at 96–93, PSU missed a three as the seconds ticked off and the buzzer sounded as the Vikings lost a close, exciting game.

De’Sean Parsons was the player of the night as he kept the Vikings in the game several times and lead all scorers with 32 points. Parsons fell to the floor a couple of times in pain, but managed to return later. Traylin Farris also had a big night with 17 points. Calaen Robinson lead the team with 12 assists.

The Vikings are set to begin a road trip in the state of Montana, first battling Montana State on Feb. 16 and the University of Montana on the Feb. 18. Both games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Viking fans can catch the game from home via the Vikings Livecast.