GAME NOTES: Both the Eastern Washington Eagles and Portland State Vikings are coming off wins over Southern Utah, and will clash in a Big Sky Conference battle at the Stott Center on Monday.
Eastern Washington defeated Southern Utah Thursday, 90-83, in what was the best offensive showcase the Thunderbirds have put on this season in their 1-16 campaign. Eastern Washington survived the SUU attack, however, and will face Portland State to break a tie of 3-4 Big Sky teams.
Portland State also had a tough time with the Thunderbirds, who haven't won a Division I game this season. The Vikings escaped with a 67-64 victory Saturday, bringing their conference record to 3-4, even with the Eagles.
The all-time series between Eastern Washington and Portland State is tied, 18-18. Portland State has taken 11 of the 17 contests played in Portland all- time.
Southern Utah shot over 50 percent in the game with Eastern Washington, but the Eagles had a weapon of their own they would utilize. Tyler Harvey set a school and Big Sky Conference record by connecting on 20-of-20 free-throw attempts in the game. Harvey led all scorers with 36 points, hitting 7-of-9 from the floor, and grabbed eight rebounds. Venky Jois chipped in 19 points, while Ognjen Miljkovic netted 13 and Parker Kelly had 12. The Eagles shot 49 percent from the floor.
Harvey has proven to be one of the top scorers in the Big Sky this season, netting 21.2 ppg on 45.8 percent shooting from the floor. Jois is second on the team with 13.6 ppg and a team-best 8.5 rpg, averaging 1.4 bpg as well. Drew Brandon and Kelly are tied for third with 10.6 ppg, while Brandon paces the team with an impressive 5.2 apg.
Like it did with Eastern Washington, Southern Utah held tough with Portland State all the way through to the end. The Vikings held a one-point halftime lead, and only outscored the Thunderbirds by two points in the second half. DaShaun Wiggins led the Vikings with 15 points off the bench, hitting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Gary Winston scored 13 points, while Andre Winston added 11 and Tim Douglas chipped in 10. The Vikings shot 40.8 percent from the floor in the game.
Douglas leads the team this season in scoring with 14.3 ppg on just 37.9 percent shooting from the field. He also leads the team with 58 total assists on the year, along with 17 steals. Wiggins is second in scoring at 12.3 ppg, while Aaron Moore (who is out due to disciplinary reasons) is third with 11.8 ppg and a team-best 5.8 rpg. The Vikings are scoring an average of 71.6 ppg this season.
Eastern Washington hasn't been able to win a game on the road this season, but Portland State has the shorter turnaround from nearly losing to Southern Utah two days ago. The Vikings seem to be vulnerable, and if Harvey can have a strong night rounded out by a few other solid performances, the Eagles should be able to win this.
Game Date and Time