Vikings drop games on the road to Portland and Gonzaga over holiday weekend
The Portland State women’s basketball team (2-3 overall) found themselves ahead of the Gonzaga Bulldogs (3-1 overall) as sophomore guard Kate Lanz scored the first basket of the game, a mid-range jumper with 19:24 left in the first half.
The Vikings held on to that lead for nine seconds.
The game was all Bulldogs from there on, as Gonzaga opened up a 16-4 run after a Jazmin Redmon layup with 15:22 left in the first half. The Vikings trailed by 23 points after the first half, and would go on to lose the game 99-69.
Gonzaga was hot from the field throughout the game, shooting 60 percent from the field (40-67 FG) and 90 percent from the free throw line (18-20 FT). The Vikings shot 30 percent for the game (25-69 FG) and only went three of 19 from the three-point line.
“I knew going into this it was going to be tough,” head coach Sherri Murrell said. “I put a tough schedule together in the preseason for a reason. It gives us a chance to knock off a good team like this, but it also reveals character and what our team needs to do.”
The Bulldogs are currently ranked second in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll and are the favorites to win the West Coast Conference behind the solid play of Gonzaga forward senior Kayla Standish. Standish led all scorers on Sunday night with 25 points on 9-13 shooting. Senior forward Katelan Redmon added 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Leading the Vikings was Lanz, who scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting. Junior guard Courtney VanBrocklin had 16 points, two rebounds and two assists, but also added six turnovers. Senior guard Eryn Jones finished with 11 points and four assists, but struggled from the field, making only four of 17 attempts, including 3-9 from beyond the arc.
On Friday night, the Vikings lost on the road against cross-town rivals the Portland Pilots at the Chiles Center. The Vikings only managed to score score 20 points in the first half, including a nine and a half minute scoreless streak.
The second half was a much different story, as the Vikings captured the momentum after scoring the first 11 points of the half to take a three-point lead. It was downhill from there, as Portland State held their last lead with 7:38 remaining at 45-43. The Pilots answered with a 7-0 run to regain control and pull out the 62-54 win.
Portland State shot 31.7 percent from the field (20-63 FG), including an ice cold first half in which the team only made eight of 33 attempts.
“We should have won that game,” Murrell said. “We shot poorly, but we still could have won it. I was completely disappointed in our effort.
Lanz led the Vikings in scoring and on the boards, putting up 15 points and eight rebounds. VanBrocklin contributed 14 points, four assists and three rebounds. Jones finished with six points and six assists.
The Pilot duo of senior forward Natalie Day and sophomore guard Alexis Byrd combined for 43 of Portland’s 62 points. Day finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Byrd had 21 points and six rebounds, including 11-11 from the line.
A bright spot in a losing weekend was the breakout performance of Lanz. Lanz is averaging 15.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season, and her solid play hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“I always forget that she is a sophomore,” Murrell said of Lanz. “As she starts to hit her stride, by the time we really need it—when conference play starts—she is really going to help us out.”
The Vikings have yet to win a game on the road this season, but have a 2-0 home record at the Stott Center. Portland State will return home to play Nevada this Saturday, Dec. 3.