Women net Vik-tory

The Portland State women’s basketball team finally broke its 10-game losing streak with two extraordinary back-to-back wins!

After a rough pre-conference season (3-11) and a long tenure as the only team in the Big Sky conference without a victory (0-7), Portland State (5-19, 2-8 Big Sky) turned the table last Thursday night, recording their first-ever win in Flagstaff, and giving the Lumberjacks a fifth straight home loss.

The Viks had no trouble shooting the ball or taking it back. Junior guard Heidi Stuart led the team with a game-high 24 points and carried them on to their first victory of the year, bringing down the Lumberjacks, 75-68. Off the bench, junior center, Carrie Mitchell posted 14 points and two blocked shots.

After the break the Viks shot 75 percent from the field (15-of-20), and made all 13 free throws. Never trailing, Portland State closed the night with 56.8 percent from the floor, 57.1 percent from the three-point range, and 84.0 percent from the foul line, holding the Lumberjacks to just 42.1 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from the three-point range, and 80.0 percent from the foul line.

“This was a solid win, not a fluke win, and we are really excited about it,” said Head Coach George Wolfe. “We were solid in all aspects of the game. We ran when we needed to and played very smart.”

The Vikings followed up Thursday’s success with a Saturday night match-up with the Sacramento State Hornets at the Hornet Gym. The Hornets were no match for the radiant Vikings, who put together their first two-game win streak of the season.

Sarah Hedgepeth had a game-high 13 rebounds, breaking the Portland State all-time rebound mark and leading the Vikings to a 66-51 victory over the Hornets.

Sacramento State fell to 1-21 on the year and 1-8 in the Big Sky Conference, while Portland State improved to 5-18 and 2-7. Sacramento State’s one victory came against Portland State on January 15 at the Stott Center. The Hornets had snapped a 14-game losing streak that dated back to last season, leaving Portland State with their third straight loss at the time. That wasn’t the case this time, as Portland State left their turf with the win.

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In the first half, Sacramento State was in the lead, holding Portland State scoreless for the first 4:22 of the game. The Hornets increased their lead to 22-12 at the 7:49 mark. The Vikings slowly narrowed the gap for the next 6:39, until for the first time in the contest, Portland State took its first lead (25-24) with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

In the second half, the two teams exchanged buckets for the first five minutes until Portland State used an 8-0 run to make it 42-28 at the 15:10 mark. The Vikings kept the lead for the remainder of the game, shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from the three-point range, and 56.5 percent from the foul line.

Portland State had four players in double digits. Junior guard Heidi Stuart led the team with a game-high 15 points. Sophomore guard Tiffany Ward posted 12, and freshman guard Heather Arns added another 11. Hedgepeth, who also moved into ninth place on the career-scoring list, had 12 points and now has a PSU record 818 boards in her career.

After two phenomenal victories, the Vikings return to their home court for three-straight with the hope of continuing their winning streak next Saturday against Eastern Washington.