The Portland State Vikings (4−0) were able to maintain their undefeated record on Monday, Nov. 20 as they knocked off the Utah State Aggies (2−3) in a college basketball matchup with the final score of 79-83 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Viks showed better offense in the early minutes of the game, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range. Utah State had open looks, but struggled to make any shots. The Aggies shot 35.7 percent from the field and 9.1 percent from 3-point range.
Later in the first half, the Viks pulled away from the Aggies before heading to halftime with a 29-45 lead. “We have a very mature team,” said Vikings Head Coach Barret Peery.
The second half was a bit different than the first, as the Aggies came out with strong momentum. USU freshman guard Brock Miller found his groove from beyond the arc which helped narrowed the score margin between the two teams.
Miller finished the night with 15 points. Strong plays from sophomore guard Sam Merrill also helped the Aggies take the lead in the second half. Miller led all scorers and finished the night with 23 points.
The Viks kept their composure, however, and didn’t fold under pressure by gaining momentum on the offensive side of the ball, which led to their defense. The team was able to capitalize on turnovers and draw fouls.
PSU retook the lead late in the second half and was able to hold off USU for a 79-83 win.
“When they [PSU Vikings] were under pressure, they didn’t flinch,” Peery said.
Viking senior guard Bryce Canda finished the game with 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
Junior guard Michael Mayhew also finished with 17 points in addition to 3 assists.
PSU now turns to the PK80 tournament where they take on Duke University, currently number one in the country, for session two of the PK80 Tournament on Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 23 at the Memorial Coliseum. The game starts at 1:30pm P.T. and will be nationally televised on ESPN.