Your guide inside the next game

Women’s Preview Box
PSU-2-15 (0-5 Big Sky)
NAU-12-6 (3-2 Big Sky)
7 p.m. Stott Center
Thur., Feb. 3

The Vikings return home battered and bruised from their rough swing through Montana to face Northern Arizona University Thursday. The Vikings were dealt a couple of bad blows as they fought for Big Sky survival over the weekend. Senior guard and team captain Heidi Stuart injured her left knee Thursday night in the Vikings’ 53-73 loss to Montana. Stuart injured the same knee last season, tearing her ACL and losing the rest of her junior campaign to surgery and rehab.

Stuart sat out the Vikings’ 57-75 loss to Montana State Saturday and was scheduled for an MRI Monday night, the results of which are expected by Thursday’s game against the Lumberjacks. Her teammates battled hard against the Bobcats but eventually wore down against 36 points from Kati Burrows, the Cats junior guard. Last season, Burrows torched the Viks for 35 at the Stott Center.

Portland State struggled again on offense and was led by Heather Arns, Delaney Conway and Audrey Grant, who scored 11 points apiece. The team shot just 33 percent, but they were missing not only Stuart but guards JJ Magee and Sharon Wahinekapu as well. Wahinekapu is out indefinitely with a foot problem and Magee did not travel with the team.

The Viks face an NAU team led by 6-2 sophomore F/C Alyssa Wahl, who leads the Lumberjacks with 13.6 points and 8.2 boards a game. Junior guard Nicky Eason is the only other Lumberjack in double figures, scoring 12.8 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds per contest. As a team, NAU outrebounds opponents by six a game, an area the Vikings desperately need to compete in to have a chance.

Portland State has to remain focused despite the distractions, injuries and losses that seem to be mounting with increasing speed. Stuart will know by game time if her knee is going to cost her yet another season, and the Vikings will have to do their best to avoid knowing the sting of another loss.