A breakout performance by freshman center Erin Yankus was not enough to overpower Weber State on Saturday, as the Vikings fell 83-62 at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah. With the loss, Portland State drops to 5-6 in conference play, 9-15 overall. The Vikings currently sit in sixth place in the Big Sky.
Trouble on the road again
A breakout performance by freshman center Erin Yankus was not enough to overpower Weber State on Saturday, as the Vikings fell 83-62 at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah.
With the loss, Portland State drops to 5-6 in conference play, 9-15 overall. The Vikings currently sit in sixth place in the Big Sky. If the season ended today, they would be included in the conference tournament as the sixth seed.
Weber State’s victory moves them to 10-2 in the conference, on the heels of first-place Montana. After running their win streak to six straight on Saturday, Montana holds an edge of one half game over Weber State.
Similar to the first meeting between the teams back on Jan. 12 in Portland, Weber State relied on strong performances by their two stars, senior guard Chelsey Warburton and junior forward Sarah Tuomi, to defeat the much younger Vikings.
Weber State shot a dominating 50.7 percent from the field, a number acceptable by even NBA standards. Perhaps even more impressive, Weber State hit nine of 20 attempts from three-point land. Of Warburton’s game-high 31 points, 21 came courtesy of treys. Her partner in crime, Tuomi, contributed 16 points and nine rebounds.
For the Vikings, Yankus had the lone standout performance. Recording her first career double-double, Yankus netted 22 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She also went eight of 10 from the line and seven of 13 from the field on a night that saw the Vikings shoot an uninspiring 31.1 percent.
Yankus’ solid performances have been lost in the statistics all year. While she does not usually fill up the box scores, the freshman center is a hard worker on the defensive end of the floor and has recently shown flashes of brilliance in the paint on the offensive side.
Sophomore forward Kelsey Kahle added 15 points for the Vikings. Freshman guard Claire Faucher dropped in 10 points to go along with five assists.
Portland State stayed close early on, maintaining a six-point lead about five minutes into the first half. A 9-0 run by Weber State, however, shifted the momentum. The Vikings would trail the rest of the way as Weber State took control of the game, eventually opening their lead to as much as 21 points.
Life on the road has not been easy for the Vikings this season, as they’ve won only one game away from the Stott Center against nine losses. In conference play alone they are off to a 1-4 mark on the road.
Portland State resumes their road trip on Thursday, when they travel to Eastern Washington for a 7 p.m. matchup with the seventh-place Eagles. With a win, the Vikings can widen the gap between playoff competitors and further ensure a trip to the Big Sky Championship Tournament.
A week later, visits to Sacramento State and Idaho State wrap up the four-game road trip for Portland State. The Vikings do not return to the Stott Center until March 1, when they will host last year’s champion, Northern Arizona, as they near the completion of their conference schedule.