Underdogs hope for a win

Despite the fact that the Portland State women’s basketball team (3-16, 0-5 Big Sky) has yet to hear the word “victory” in the Big Sky Conference, and the Montana Grizzlies (9-9, 5-0) are undefeated in the conference, the Vikings could come through as the underdogs. Having won the last two meetings against the Grizzlies at the Stott Center, the Vikings are in a good position to pick up a conference win.

The teams are at opposite ends of the conference with UM in first place and PSU in last. Montana has won six straight, while the Vikings have lost eight in a row.

Montana State has plenty to brag about. In their last three games the Grizzlies held their opponents to 50 points or less, winning by an average 23 points.

Senior Julie Deming scored a career-high 23 points in their last game, leading the team to a 76-50 victory against the Sacramento State Hornets, their 15th straight triumph at home. Deming hit 9 of 12 shots for the game, including both of her 3-point attempts, as well as having five rebounds, five steals, and four assists. Sophomore, Katie Edwards hit 4 of 9 from 3-point range, scoring 15 points in the first half and 18 for the game. Junior Juliann Keller added 13 points and five rebounds. The Grizzlies definitely know how to take care of the ball.

The Grizzlies definitely have the support from the fans to back them up as well. Last Thursday, the Grizzlies attained an astonishing 74-37 victory over Northern Arizona, before a crowd of 3,427, limiting their opponent to 29.4 percent shooting and building a 53-35 rebounding advantage. Montana ranks 17th in the nation in assists per game (17.6 per game) and second in both turnovers (12.7 per game) and personal fouls (13.0 per game).

“We play completely different games,” said senior guard Jane Gowans about the game against UM. “They like a slow tempo and we play a fast tempo game. Our team is desperate for a win and they underestimate us. We play good against Montana, because its Montana, and we like to bring them down a notch or two. Coming off the road trip we have had some pretty good practices and have prepared really well.”

“We like to wizz on the Grizz,” commented freshman center Carly Fromdahl. “We are David and they’re Goliath…we’re gonna slay the giants!”

Saturday, Portland State also takes on the sixth place Montana State Bobcats (9-9, 1-4 Big Sky). The Bobcats have only recently picked up their first conference victory of the season, a 71-39 victory against Sacramento State.

Junior Kati Burrows averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds to pace the Bobcats. Sheila Hutchison who leads the team in points with an average 13.9 per game, has twice been named Player of the Week in the Big Sky and has started every game.

The Bobcats last game against Northern Arizona ended in a loss for Montana State. Northern Arizona shot 49.2 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three-point range, and 73.3 percent from the foul line, holding Montana State to 38.5 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three-point range, and 72 percent from the foul line.

Portland State looks for a win this week seeing that these two games mark the end of the first half of the Big Sky season. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m. at the Stott Center. Good luck ladies!