GAME NOTES: The Portland State Vikings will attempt to extend a two-game win streak as they travel to face the University of North Dakota in a Big Sky Conference battle at Engelstad Arena.
Portland State has won two games in a row directly following a four-game losing skid. The Vikings took care of Eastern Washington, 87-76, in a conference matchup on Monday. Portland State sits at an even 8-8 in the Big Sky this season.
North Dakota has won two of its last three games, and three of its last five. UND defeated Northern Arizona on Saturday, 75-63, in its last outing. North Dakota holds a 9-7 record in conference play - one game ahead of Portland State.
UND leads the all-time series against Portland State, 4-1. The Vikings however, finally got into the win column when they defeated North Dakota in Portland on Feb. 1, 70-68. North Dakota has a 2-0 record against Portland State in Grand Forks.
Portland State held just a one-point lead over Eastern Washington at the half of its last game on Monday, but exploded in the second half for 56 team points and outscore the Eagles by 10 in the period. Kyle Richardson netted 22 points to lead the Vikings, adding eight rebounds in the process. Marcus Hall scored 16 points, Andre Winston and Tim Douglas each chipped in 14, and Gary Winston contributed 12 in the victory.
DaShaun Wiggins, who netted nine points and dished out six assists in the win over EWU, leads the team in scoring this season with a 12.9 ppg average, which is only slightly ahead of Douglas' 12.8 ppg mark. Aaron Moore is in third on the Vikings with 11.8 ppg, and Gary Winston rounds out the double-digit scorers this season with 10.5 ppg. Douglas holds the team's top spot with 86 assists, and Moore leads the team in rebounding with a 5.8 rpg average.
Northern Arizona actually held a one-point lead over North Dakota in Saturday's Big Sky clash, but UND came storming back in the second half to grab a lead and hold on for the 12-point victory. Troy Huff scored a game-high 28 points with four steals, hitting 11-of-12 from the free-throw line in the contest. Jamal Webb chipped in 14 points with nine rebounds and six assists, Lenny Antwi came off the bench to score 12 and Alonzo Traylor contributed 11 points with seven rebounds.
Huff has quietly been one of the more solid players in the Big Sky Conference this season, leading his North Dakota squad with 19.5 ppg on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor. Huff's 62 steals is by far a team high, and his 7.3 rpg average is another team best. Jaron Nash is second on the team with 10.5 ppg, adding 14 blocked shots and 4.2 rpg to his season resume. Aaron Anderson rounds out the UND double-digit scorers with 10.3 ppg, and Webb tops the roster with a 3.2 apg mark.
North Dakota only lost to Portland State by two points the last time these teams met in Portland. The Vikings have struggled in Grand Forks having not won a game there in two trips. If UND can get contributions from its players like it did against Eastern Washington, North Dakota will be in good shape.
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