The Viking women’s basketball team will be in Cheney this Saturday for its second match-up with the Eastern Washington Eagles this season.
Portland State should enter the game with confidence, having just dispatched conference rivals Northern Arizona (63-56) and Sacramento State (69-55) at the Peter Stott Center.
However, Eastern Washington was also busy hosting those teams last week. The Eagles pulled out an easy 77-46 win over Sacramento State on Thursday and narrowly defeated Northern Arizona 79-77 on Saturday.
Eastern Washington has been playing well in recent games and boasts an overall record of 14-8, 5-4 in Big Sky Conference play. They will be looking to avenge the 78-69 overtime loss handed to them by PSU on January 25 – their first conference loss of the year. The fact that both teams are currently tied for fourth place in the BSC will only add to the tension.
“After losing like we did at Portland State, our players definitely want the chance to redeem themselves,” stated Eagle head coach Wendy Schuller in a press release. “Portland State is playing well right now, so we will definitely need to be on top of our game. Their strength is in their defense, so we are going to have to find ways of getting good shots.”
That last match-up, though providing a win, also marked a setback for the Vikings. Starting point guard Jane Gowans received a concussion in the first half, resulting in blurred vision and a subsequent string of missed games. Solid play from Sarah Hedgepeth (28 points, 14 rebounds), Washington native Nikki Petticrew (16 points, 6 rebounds) and Heidi Stuart (15 points) pulled the Viking team through. Three-point accuracy (53.8 percent) and foul shooting (73 percent) were pivotal to the Viking win.
Eagle forward Kathleen Nygaard led her team with 22 points, 10 rebounds. Her play has continued to be impressive, and she posted her seventh double-double of the season last week against Northern Arizona. Janelle Ruen and Stephanie Ulmer also played well in that last match-up, with 11 and 10 points respectively. Senior point guard Michelle Demetruk is someone else to watch out for – she has been averaging 10.4 points and just under five assists in games this season.
The Vikings are currently 10-12 overall, 5-4 in the BSC.