The Vikings fought hard to break a pummeling eight-game losing streak, but a home-court advantage wasn’t enough to prevent a mauling by a pack of hungry Bears.
For their final home game of the season, Portland State’s women’s basketball went head to head against conference foe University of Northern Colorado last Saturday at the Stott Center. The game was a chase, but it was the Bears that spent the night running away; UNCO was also under pressure to put an end to a three-game losing streak of their own.
Both teams started play at a steady pace, but Northern Colorado had the advantage as they brought more aggression on both sides of the ball. The Bears ran a full court press defense in order to pressure the Vikings on offense and force some turnovers. UNCO was also able to score some second and third chance points after collecting multiple offensive rebounds. The Bears led Portland State 18-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter sped up as the opponents picked up the tempo. Both teams went back and forth with consistent offenses, putting points on the scoreboard. The Vikings looked to narrow the lead by keeping up with the Bears, but UNCO lead 31-24 going into halftime.
Though the Vikings were able to keep up with the Bears in the second quarter, the third quarter had a different outcome, with UNCO pressing their lead over PSU.
The Bears had the momentum going into the fourth, as they extended their lead with a score of 48-32. The Vikings were down, but not out; they switched to a full court press defense which momentarily slowed the Bears down. Portland State outscored Northern Colorado 17-4 in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, cutting the Bears lead to six.
The Bears were able to hold off as they found answers for the full court press defense. They slowly picked away the Vikings’ previous gains to pull ahead and earned the win with a final score of 70-59.
Northern Colorado guard Kyleigh Hiser led all scorers with 21pts (8-16 FG), 2 ast, 2 stl. Rebecca Howell also had a productive game for the Bears, finishing the day with 13 pts (6-9 FG), 7 reb, 1 ast.
Ashley Torres Negron led the scorers for the Vikings, finish with 14pts (6-12 FG), 7 reb, 2ast. Viking guard, Corey James, had a good day, shooting 60 percent from the field, finishing with 11 pts (3-5 FG), 7 reb, 2 ast.
The Vikings will finish their season on the road with their next games at Northern Arizona on March 2 and Southern Utah on March 4. Both games begin at 7 p.m. with video coverage available at http://eversport.tv/big-sky.