Last week, the Vikings (8-12 overall, 3-4 in the Big Sky) dropped two games in Montana, further injuring a 2-10 away-game record. As road wins become increasingly scarce, success at home takes on added importance, and Portland State will have the opportunity to prove itself in two games at the Peter Stott Center this week.
Tonight, the Vikings take on Northern Arizona in their second match-up with the team this season. Last time, PSU lost to the Lumberjacks in Flagstaff, 65-42.
Lindsey Foster played well for NAU in that last game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting (including 3 of 4 from the three-point line). Lacey Tolbert, who usually leads the team in several categories, was somewhat stifled with 11 points and three assists. Joy Dixon was also a presence for the Lumberjacks, with 13 points and six assists.
The Vikings were for the most part contained by the aggressive NAU defense. Sarah Hedgepeth was held to only 12 points, while the next highest scores came from Niki Sadowski and Nikki Petticrew, who had eight points apiece.
Since that game, NAU has earned a record of 10-10 overall and 3-4 in the BSC. Unfortunately for Portland State, the Lumberjacks have not experienced difficulties on the road, and have won five of their last six away games. They are currently part of a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big Sky Conference with rivals Eastern Washington and the Vikings.
On Saturday, the Vikings will go on to face the Sacramento State Hornets, who have had an incredibly hard time garnering wins so far this season. PSU dominated Sacramento State in their match-up last month and won the game, 77-51.
However, the Hornets did show some potential, with three of their players posting double-digit point totals. Guard Sydney Gatson had 12 points and eight boards, while Nichole Hardaway and Sarah Craig had 10 points each. Forward Danielle Iceman and guard Diane Peterson have also been playing well in recent games.
As expected, Viking Hedgepeth led the team in that game with an outstanding 31 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Nikki Petticrew, Heidi Stuart and Niki Sadowski also played impressively.
Sacramento State is 2-18 overall, 0-7 in the BSC. The Hornets have shot below 30 percent in their last three games and are currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.
Both games are at 7 p.m. in the Stott Center.