Viks hold off Thunderbirds in one of the last games in Stott Center

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The Portland State Men’s Basketball team (13−13) defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (5−23) 93−86 last Thursday in one of the last games that’s ever going to be played in the Peter W. Stott Center. Jacob Salazar/PSU Vanguard

The Portland State Men’s Basketball team (13−13) defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (5−23) 93−86 Thursday, Feb. 23 in one of the last games that’s ever going to be played in the Peter W. Stott Center.

The Viks had an initial good start, putting up points early in the game. Southern Utah responded by going on a 14−4 run at 4:26 in the first quarter. The Thunderbirds established a double-digit lead and were able to manage the lead throughout a good portion of the half. Southern Utah zone defense strategy forced PSU to shoot from beyond the arc. This gave the Thunderbirds fast break opportunities off of the Viks’ missed shots.

PSU sparked on offense, taking back some of the momentum and finding its shot in the process. PSU was able to draw fouls and capitalize on free throw opportunities. Strong offensive plays from the Viks’ De’Sean Parsons, Brandon Hollins, and Calaen Robinson helped PSU back into the game. It was back and forth between both teams with a total of 10 lead changes throughout the first half. The Viks ended the half in the lead, 49−45.

In the second half, the intensity from both teams picked up. It was back and forth again, although this time, the Viks would be the team that kept the lead. Southern Utah showed repeated signs of a comeback with dominant offense from guard Randy Onwuasor, who is related to former PSU Viking football player Patrick Onwuasor.

The Thunderbirds eventually regained the lead with 4:25 left in the game, although it was was short lived as PSU’s De’Sean Parsons made two free throws less than a minute later. Southern Utah tied the score as the game was coming down to the wire. The Viks would regain the lead and keep it by shutting down the Thunderbird offense, forcing turnovers and contested shot attempts.

“We pressed a lot more tonight” PSU head coach Tyler Geving said. “We turned them [Southern Utah] over 18 times; that was big.”

PSU held on to win one of its last games in the Stott Center by the score of 93−86.

Southern Utah guard Randy Onwuasor finished with a double-double 30 pts (10−22 FG, 3−6 3-PT FG, 7−8 FT), 12 rebounds.

PSU had six players who scored double-digits: De’Sean Parsons, 16 pts, Khari Holloway, 15 pts, Deontae North, 14 pts, Calaen Robinson, 13 pts, Brandon Hollins, 12 pts, and Bryce Canda with 11 pts.

The Viks take on Northern Arizona University at 7:05 p.m. on Feb. 25, which will be the last men’s game ever played in the Stott Center.

“It’s an honor to be coaching in the last [men’s] game here” Geving said.

Vikings games can also be watched at: http://www.goviks.com/

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