Women’s basketball on the rise

Portland State women’s basketball, 6-18 on the season and 3-7 in the Big Sky Conference, is now on a roll with a three-game winning streak.

The streak seems mildly amazing, considering that it is the longest the team has had since 2001.

Portland State won its only game of the week last Saturday with an amazing 72-59 win over Eastern Washington, placing themselves in the sixth in the Big Sky Conference -opposed to their previous standing in last place.

With four games left, PSU women’s basketball might actually recover from the season’s previous 10-game losing slump.

Freshman forward Heather Arns, sophomore forward Tiffany Ward, junior guard Heidi Stuart and senior forward Sarah Hedgepeth have all scored 20 or more points in a game this season.

Hedgepeth is the only player in the Big Sky conference averaging a double-double this season. She holds the all-time PSU rebound record, and can only continue to climb up the career scoring list over her final four games in uniform.

Hedgepeth currently ranks eighth, passing Stacey Liebl (1983-87) in her last game.

Saturday, the Vikings host third-place Weber State (14-10, 8-3). The Wildcats went 2-0 last week with two persuasive wins over Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. Coincidently, Weber State is also on a three-game winning streak.

The Wildcats played the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks last Saturday night and defeated them with extreme confidence 80-63 at the Dee Events Center. Several career-highs were either tied or broken that night for the Wildcats. Freshman forward, Becky O’Neil led all players with 24 points and 10 rebounds, breaking her pervious career-high of 15 and came on 8 of 10 shooting from the line.

Junior forward, Julie Gjertsen hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor and was perfect from the foul line in two attempts. She was also 5-of-8 from the three-point territory. Gjertsen, last year’s Co-Big Sky MVP, hit a career-high tying five treys in both games and was perfect from the free throw line in four attempts.

For the year, Gjertsen ranks second in scoring with 16.1 points per game, leads the league in three-point percentage with a 39.8 clip and was named Big Sky player of the month.

The Wildcats shot almost 52 percent from the field, and out-rebounded NAU 35-26. Weber State improved to 14-10 overall and 8-3 in the Big Sky with the win.

It’s going to be a challenging game, but the Portland State ladies are on a roll. Tip off is at 7 p.m. at the Stott Center.