With five straight losses behind them, the Portland State women’s basketball team is left with nothing more than hope to break their unlucky losing streak.
The Viks played their rematch game on Tuesday, January 20, against their cross-town rival, University of Portland. Failing to bring home the win, the Vikings went home with an unfortunate pre-conference record of 3-13 in the regular season, leaving the Pilots victorious with a 74-67 game ending score.
Portland State played the Pilots earlier this year and lost then as well. The Pilots won for the tenth time in the last eleven meetings against Portland State.
The Pilots had three players in double digits. Senior forward, Khalila O’Rielly-Williams dominated both ends of the court, reaching a season high of 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals. Junior guard, Hanna Seltzer posted 11, and sophomore guard, Lauren Himmelspach added another 10.
Surprisingly, Portland State’s shot a higher percentage than U. of P. from the field, the three-point line, and the foul line. However, it wasn’t enough to pull them out of the trench they had dug for themselves during the first half with 39.3 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from the three-point range, and 0.0 percent the foul line.
Portland State also had three players in double digits. Sophomore forward, Tiffanie Ward posted a career-high 16 points, junior guard Heidi Stuart added 14, and freshman guard, Ashley Brown contributed 11.
It looked fairly promising for the Viks when in the final minute of the game, Brown and Stuart sank back-to-back three-pointers, bringing Portland State within four of the Pilots.
The Pilots widened the gap once more, dropping three more in the hoop to close the game. The Pilots rocked the foul line that night making 21-of-29 attempts.
“We weren’t very consistent in our game,” commented senior guard Jane Gowans. “We played an awesome second half, but the first half wasn’t consistent on the offense and defense.”
Portland State will have a chance to break their streak this Saturday in their third conference game against the Eastern Washington Eagles.
First place Eastern Washington has a record of 2-0 in the conference and will have home court advantage against the Viks who will be traveling to Cheney, WA.
“Road games are always tough,” said Gowans. ” It’s really important to get a win in the Big Sky conference and also for the team’s morale. We only have one game on this road trip, so if we just focus on this one game, and extend all our energy into it, we hope to win. In the past we have been at a split with Eastern, so this is an important game.”
Portland State will be keeping an eye on Eastern’s lead scorer and rebounder, senior forward, Kathleen Nygaard. Averaging 20.7 points per game, Nygaard has about 10.2 rebounds per game, and is shooting 56.1 percent from the field. Tip off against the Eagles is 2 p.m. this Saturday, January 24. Good luck on the road, ladies!