It was the first women’s basketball game of the season. It was Alicia Carline’s first time suiting up as a Portland State student athlete. And it was an evening of breakout performances and chance injury.
Carline, a 6-foot 3-inch center from New Zealand who transferred to PSU this year, had a monster game, posting a team-high 21 points, plus 10 rebounds for a double-double. She also was perfect from the free throw line, going 3-for-3. Unfortunately, Carline’s impressive performance was marred by a hand injury late in the second half and she did not return.
She suffered a broken pinkie and is expected to be in a cast and unable to play for four to six weeks. A possible return date is the Dec. 14 home game against Western Washington, which would provide Carline three games to get ready for conference play.
Before she went down, Carline was dominant. She towered over the George Fox players and showed quite a bit of athleticism and mobility for a frontcourt player. She has incredibly active hands, which always seemed to make contact with the ball when it came near her.
Despite the injury to Carline, PSU battled past George Fox 71–69 to win their preseason opener. Two other Lady Viks notched double-doubles in the game; freshman forward Cici West had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while senior guard Lariel Powell posted 12 points and a team-high 13 assists. PSU shared the ball with great alacrity that evening, having 23 dimes on 28 made field goals.
It was not a perfect performance for PSU by any means. They gave up 22 turnovers, which led to 17 Bruin points, and at times struggled with George Fox’s full court press. The Bruins shot an impressive .458 from the field, but PSU outdid them with a .509 shooting percentage.
In their second game of the year, the last of the designated exhibition games, PSU cruised by Lewis and Clark College with a 74–56 victory. The win came behind a balanced scoring attack led by Powell with 19 points. Powell also notched a nifty six of PSU’s 13 steals.
Senior forward Mikaela Rivard saw her first action of the season after missing the previous game because of injury. She had 12 points and 8 rebounds. Junior guard Emily Easom also contributed with 13 points on a strong shooting night. She had a pair of 3-pointers and was 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
West had another double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 boards.
The Lady Viks shot well in their victory over the Pioneers, better than 43 percent. They found ways to get high-percentage shots in the second half, with 22 points in the paint and 10 fastbreak points.
In both their wins, PSU out-shot and out-rebounded their opponent.
Looking forward, PSU women’s hoops will hit the road for their first test away from the Peter W. Stott Center, with a matchup against Seattle University on Nov. 16. A wide variety of opponents both from Oregon and out of state will make their way to Portland in the following weeks for home games against PSU. One such matchup head coach Sherri Murrel has identified as tough competition is the Dec. 5 game against Navy. Last season, Navy had a record of 24–8 with an impressive road record of 11–4.