The Vikings did what any normal host might do: proved to UC Irvine whose house they were in. The game was very close all throughout and came down to the final seconds of overtime.
UC Irvine’s Cindy Oparah tied the game at 69 apiece with 10 seconds remaining on the clock. Without taking a timeout, Portland State’s Krishelle Jessee drove the length of the court, found a hole in the defense and put the Vikings up 71-69 with two seconds left. The Anteaters threw up a desperation shot in the waning seconds, but the ball didn’t find the basket and Portland State claimed the win.
The score in the first half fluctuated often as both teams went on momentary hot streaks. At one point, the Anteaters led by as many as 10 points, but just when they thought they had gained control, Portland State rallied back to score 11 unanswered points. However, it wasn’t enough to catch UC Irvine by the half and the Anteaters took a 41-34 lead heading into the locker room.
The Vikings came back refreshed and ready to play in the second half and quickly took the lead, 51-49. The rest was history as the game went into overtime and Jessee hit the game-winning shot for the Vikings. Portland State dominated the boards and outrebounded UC Irvine 43 to 36. However, the Vikings let the ball slip out of their hands on 25 occasions as the Anteaters only turned the ball over 19 times.
Three Vikings came up with six rebounds each to add to the total of 43; Sarah Hedgepeth, Nikki Petticrew and Jane Gowans all came up big for the Vikings on the boards. Jessee not only hit the game-winning shot, but also contributed by putting up five assists.
Petticrew assisted UC Irvine in turnovers by stealing the ball four times from the Anteaters. Gowans also played some good defense and came away with two blocks on the night.
The Anteaters were led in rebounds by Oparah and Christina Callaway, who had eight and six boards respectively. Oparah also was a presence on the defensive end with five steals.
The loss for the Anteaters was only made worse Sunday as they were defeated by the University of Portland Pilots, once again in overtime with a score of 72-69, in favor of the Pilots.
The Vikings took on Washington State yesterday, but results were not available at press time. PSU will host UC Riverside on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Stott Center.