Portland State Vikings took on lower division Willamette University Bearcats on Tuesday, Nov. 14. for the first home game of the men’s basketball season, breaking PSU Vikings’ record for the most amount of steals.
The game started with Bryce Canda scoring three points on a full court press. Vikings went two for two with the Bearcats when Deante Strickland scored another three points by the 18:50 minute mark of the game. Within the first four minutes of the game, Vikings forced the Bearcats into eight turnovers.
Vikings tried turning defense into offense, leading up to ten steals by 14:16, and with Vikings leading the game 24-2.
Strickland came in with a successful cross court shot, bringing the game to 33-12. Vikings player Ryan Edwards added an extra element of surprise from the Viks’ team by using his ambidextrous shooting skills.
Towards the end of the first half, the Bearcats began to slow their turnover rate. At halftime, the score was 58-30 with Vikings in the lead.
The second half began with PSU running a diamond press. Willamette fell into a half court trap and continued to experience turnovers. By the 15:30, the score was up 71-36 pts. Strickland attempted to make a shot from behind his head before Vikings’ player Brenden Rumel came in from behind to make the shot.
Canda came in with another slam dunk at 9:24, bringing the score to 94-48.
Willamette started to run a 2–3 zone due to being undersized, but PSU’s fair plays and ball movement destroyed the zone while leaving it open for penetration and kick outs. Willamette switched back to a man defense, and the scoreboard climbed up to 97-52.
After Rumel scored the 100th point of the game, PSU switched back to a 2–3 zone defense. Vikings’ player Vonte Carter blocked an opposing Willamette player’s dunk at 3:57. Vikings’ became more aggressive on the defense by throwing traps while switching back to a full diamond press.
Vikings ran the clock at the end of the game, leading to a 111-60 win.
Willamette Bearcats had a .328 shooting percentage for the game with two deadball rebounds.
PSU Vikings had seven players score in double figures while additionally breaking PSU’s record from 1997 of 20 steals, setting the new record to 22.
Vikings are on the road at University of California Riverside on Saturday, Nov. 18. The next home game will take place on Monday Nov. 20 at Memorial Coliseum, tipoff at 7 p.m.