Portland State Vikings at Idaho State Bengals
(12-5, 4-1 Big Sky) (6-11, 0-5 Big Sky)
Saturday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m.
Reed Gym, Pocatello, Idaho
The Vikings will look to get back to winning Saturday in Pocatello after a tough 70-66 loss to Weber State Thursday night. Last year the Bengals swept the Vikings, damaged PSU’s postseason bid and earned their first win in Portland in seven years. Saturday the Vikings will look for some revenge and their first win in Idaho since head coach Heath Schroyer took over.
Five straight losses have left the Bengals at the bottom of the Big Sky searching for answers. The biggest question remains who is going to score. After putting up 70 or more points in six of the first seven games the Bengals have only broken 70 twice in the last nine games.
The loss of go-to-guard David Schroeder (15.3 points/game, 6.3 rebounds/game) to an early season ACL injury clearly hurt, but the remaining Bengals haven’t stepped up. Senior guards Jeff Gardner (12.7 points/game, 4,7 assists/game), Arzelle Lewis (5.7 points/game) and senior forward Doug D’Amore (9.3 points/game) lead an experienced group of perimeter players.
Yet despite their contributions the Bengals have been outscored by an average of 14.3 points/game and lack the athleticism and depth to compete with the Vikings.
Fun fact: Senior ISU guard Arzelle Lewis and freshman guard Doug Hardy were both prom/homecoming kings in high school.
Portland State: 2-12 (0-2 Big Sky)
Idaho State: 6-9 (1-1 Big Sky)
Saturday, Jan. 22
2 p.m. Stott Center
The Lady Vikings face off against the Idaho State Bengals Saturday afternoon in a match-up of two underachieving teams. The Bengals, a preseason number three pick in the Big Sky conference have slipped to fifth in the league and are 1-1 in Big Sky play. Idaho State beat Sacramento State in a gimme game and then fell to the 10-5 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 76-69.
Idaho State is led by 6-1 sophomore forward/center Molly Hays, who comes to Portland averaging 13.8 points and 8.5 boards. Hays is second in the conference in scoring and tied for third in rebounding. She gets most of her help from her sharpshooting backcourt, which includes guard Andrea Sivakova, who shoots about 40 percent from deep.
Portland State is coming off of its fifth straight loss, a 68-89 shortcoming Thursday night versus Weber State and will have to rely on its core of youngsters to provide energy and hustle to facilitate easy transition hoops. The Vikings must do this to win ball games, since they are shooting an abysmal 33 percent from the field – for the year.
Senior veteran guard Heidi Stuart has to put her surgically repaired knee to the test and start to take over offensively. The entire team must cut down on the numerous mental errors if they are ever to escape the sub-basement of the Big Sky Conference.