The Big Sky tournament got underway last Thursday and as it did, the Vikings’ (11-18) season came to a quick close in Ogden, Utah. The loss came at the hands of the 19-9 Montana State Grizzlies who beat Portland State by a final score of 86-52.
Portland State came out firing in the first half as Heidi Stuart scored the first five points of the game. However, Montana soon built a 22-12 lead over the Vikings, who shot only 29 percent in the first half. The Grizzlies continued to pull ahead of the Vikings and took the lead for good at the half, 41-24.
The Vikings were able to improve their field goal percentage going into the second half, but unfortunately it was too little too late. Montana State built its lead to 33 and all the team had to do was sit back and enjoy its win.
Staci Kleier recorded a career high 15 points and pulled down four rebounds on the night. Stuart was six of eight from the field for 14 points. Close behind was Sarah Hedgepeth who almost had another double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds for Portland State.
The Vikings had trouble shutting down Montana State’s center Hollie Tyler, who came up with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Julie Deming and Cheryl Keller both had 17 points on the night to help lead the Grizzlies to the win.
Montana State only turned the ball over seven times and only just four of those were on steals by the Vikings. Also the Vikings shot just 35.95 percent from the field compared to 51 percent from the Grizzlies. In the end the Grizzlies put up too big of a lead for the Vikings to mount any kind of a comeback.
With the season now over, the Vikings will have plenty of time to regroup and work on plans for next year.