psu vikings

Oregonian women's hoop has national respect

Oregon, OSU, even Portland are expected to perform well
By Cliff Pfenning,

As another season of college basketball approaches, women's teams from across Oregon have turned into psuedo powerhouses - now including the University of Portland.

After winning the West Coast Conference tournament last season with a core of underclass players, the Pilots were picked to finish third in the regular season which begins Dec. 28.

Oregon and Oregon State are not only picked to compete for the Pac-12 Conference title, but are among the Top 20 in the nation.

The Ducks and Beavers have not released their season-opening dates.

Oregon was 31-2 and had won the conference title when the college season came to an abrupt end last year. The Ducks graduated the top pick and No. 3 pick as well in the WNBA Draft. But, the returning crew is stacked enough to warrant a No. 10 ranking by ESPN.

Oregon State enters the season ranked No. 18 in the same poll.

Stanford, No. 2, Arizona, No. 7, and UCLA, No. 9, give the Pac-12 a ton of national respect.

Gonzaga, which won the WCC regular-season title last season, begins the year ranked No. 21.

Portland State is picked by coaches to finish in the middle of the Big Sky Conference.



Vikings get a big road win

PSU defense forces three turnovers in 30-17 win at Weber State
Oct. 25, 2014

OGDEN, Utah - Portland State finally put together a game it has been worthy of playing all season and dominated Weber State, 30-17, Saturday at Stewart Stadium.

The Viking defense forced three turnovers and made two fourth-down stops of the Wildcats’ offense. PSU’s running game led a 475-yard offensive effort. And, Jonathan Gonzales added three more field goal to complete an all-around victory.

With the win, PSU improved to 3-5 on the season, 2-2 in the Big Sky. Weber State dropped to 0-8, 0-4.

“It was a solid win, a team win in the end,” said Viking Coach Nigel Burton.

The difference in the game for the Vikings after two close losses the last two weeks?

“Takeaways, strictly the takeaways,” said Burton. “We ended drives (by Weber State). Fourth-down stops count as takeaways as well. And we protected the football ourselves. We didn’t lay it down in crucial situations and that was a win.”

Portland State mixed up the running game, with wide receiver fly sweeps, quarterback option runs and the usual array of running back carries, gaining 303 yards on 62 totes.

The Vikings put a crooked number on the scoreboard first when wide receiver Darnell Adams caught a pass tipped by a Weber State defender in the back of the endzone. The 24-yard completion from Kieran McDonagh to Adams gave PSU a 7-0 lead at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter.

Weber State used a trick play to tie the game late in the quarter. Wide receiver Shaydon Kehano threw a 20-yard scoring pass to quarterback Jadrian Clark on a double-reverse play.

Kicker Jonathan Gonzales got the lead back for PSU with a 41-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Later in the period, cornerback Xavier Coleman picked off a Clark pass. Seven plays later Gonzales added a 45-yard field goal, and the Vikings led 13-7 at halftime.

A second Wildcat turnover to open the second half led to another Viking score. In the series, Kasey Closs carried twice on fly sweeps for 14 yards, then caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from McDonagh. Suddenly Portland State led 20-7 early in the third quarter.

Jonathan Gonzales extended the Viking lead to 23-10 with a short 18-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. But Wildcat Billy Green, who came in in relief at quarterback, quickly engineered a seven-play, 75-yard drive, all through the air. His 36-yard touchdown pass to Darryl Denby closed the margin to 23-17.

Portland State had the clincher though, with an eight-play, 66-yard drive late in the contest. McDonagh’s eight-yard touchdown run with 2:25 to play iced the contest.

Steven Long led the ground game again, carrying 21 times for 118 yards. McDonagh added 62 yards and a score on 17 carries. He completed 14-23 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jeremy Lutali led the defense with eight tackles, including one for loss. Aaron Sibley had seven stops. Darien Washingtonmade a fumble recovery and Chevy Walker added a key fourth-quarter interception.

PSU gets a big win

The Vikings go three overtimes to topple visiting Montana
Jan. 11, 2014

Portland - With less than four minutes to play in Saturday night’s game, the Portland State Vikings trailed by nine and were left for dead. A full hour later, at the end of triple overtime, junior guard Gary Winston delivered a reviving shock to the system with a game-winning three-point field goal and the Vikings beat Montana, 81-78.

To say Winston was the hero is no overstatement. He scored all nine Viking points in the third overtime. The most important came on the final play as he ran a pick-and-roll with Tim Douglas. Winston, the screener, popped open on the right wing and Douglas hit him with a perfect pass. All that was left to do was rip the net with 2.6 seconds left.

The shot sent the Stott Center into pandemonium as Montana rushed the ball upcourt. But Kareem Jamar’s half-court heave didn’t come close.

It was a remarkable comeback and win with a game full of heros for the Vikings. The first was Winston, with his career-high 21 points and the game winner. Also coming up big was Marcus Hall, who netted a career-high 21, including 5-6 from three-point range and 6-6 at the line. Douglas added 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.

The victory against defending Big Sky Champion Montana was much-needed for the Vikings who had lost their first three league games. PSU is now 6-7 on the season, 1-3 in the Big Sky.

The triple-overtime affair was the first in 16 seasons for Portland State and believed to be only the second in the history of the program.

Trailing 54-45 with 3:50 left in regulation, PSU was down but not out. The Vikings went on a 12-3 run to close out regulation and send the game to overtime. Hall, Winston and Douglas all scored in the run with Douglas getting five, including a go-ahead jumper with 29 seconds left, making it 57-56 Vikings.

Montana’s Keron DeShields made 1-2 free throws with 16 seconds left to tie the game and get it to overtime.

PSU center Brandon Cataldo sent the game to a second overtime with a tip-in basket with 47 seconds left in the first OT. That tied it at 62-62. Each team had a possession to follow, but Montana could not covert with a missed free throw and a lane violation. Douglas then had his shot blocked by Mario Dunn at the buzzer.

Portland State led 72-65 with 2:30 left in the second overtime but didn’t score again. The Griz battled back with seven in a row to tie. Jamar had a three-point attempt for the win at the end of the second overtime but missed to leave it tied at 72-72.

In the closing frame, Winston hit a pair of three-pointers and three of four free throws. His final dagger had the Stott Center rocking.

Portland State, which play four guards on the floor at all times, had a huge rebounding deficit early in the game but battled in the late-going getting all the key rebounds. PSU had an 11-5 rebound advantage in the three overtimes, including 3-0 in the last OT. PSU ended up outrebounding Montana, 32-31, for the game.

PSU shot .460 from the floor, hitting a season-high 12-27 three-pointers. The Vikings also had an excellent 23-28 performance at the line (.821).

Jordan Gregory had a game-high 25 points for Montana (6-7, 1-3). Jamar added 19 points and six rebounds.

GAME NOTES: The last time Portland State played a triple overtime game was Feb. 21, 1998 when the Vikings beat Montana State, 101-100 in the Rose Garden… Winston also had five assists to lead the Vikings… Marcus Hall has made 10-13 three-point field goals in the last two games. He is 14-22 from three-point range in Big Sky Conference games (.636)… PSU is now 24-23 all-time in overtime games… PSU ended a nine-game losing streak to Montana that dated back to the 2008-09 season… Portland State goes on the road next week, playing at Sacramento State on Thursday night.

Vikings drop third straight

PSU loses at Southern Utah in defensive struggle
Oct. 13, 2013

Cedar City, UT - Involved in an unlikely defensive struggle, the Portland State Vikings were undone by five turnovers, losing to Southern Utah, 17-7, at Eccles Coliseum.

PSU held the Thunderbirds to 183 yards of offense but a pair of Viking turnovers led directly to both SUU touchdowns. Meanwhile, a Viking offense that has been a powerhouse all year, had its lowest output of the season, totaling 313 yards and only one score.

The loss was the third in a row for Portland State. The Vikings dropped to 3-4 on the season, 0-3 in the Big Sky Conference. Southern Utah moves to 5-2 and into the Big Sky Conference title race at 2-1.

Neither team could move the ball in the first quarter and each team punted three times. PSU totaled only 59 yards of offense while Southern Utah gained 65.

T-Birds kicker Colton Cook finally broke the scoreless tie with a 44-yard field goal at the 13:08 mark of the second quarter. Then a Portland State fumble on the next possession set up the Thunderbirds at the PSU 18 for another score.

Southern Utah quarterback Aaron Cantu hit Fatu Moala on a 3rd-and-goal play from the 5-yard line for the first touchdown of the game. The extra point put SUU ahead 10-0 with 5:15 left in the half.

Just before halftime, Portland State got on the scoreboard, mounting a 13-play, 75-yard drive behind backup quarterback Paris Penn. With a fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line, Penn fought his way into the endzone. That closed the score to 10-7 at halftime.

The third quarter was just like the first. No offense and six punts between the two teams.

Then came the fatal turnover for Portland State. Quarterback Collin Ramirez was picked off at midfield by Tyree Mills who returned it to the Viking 1. It took three plays by the Thunderbirds, but Cantu finally punched the ball across the goal line with 6:01 remaining in the game.

Down 17-7, the Viking offense drove the ball 55 yards behind Ramirez, but were finally stopped on fourth down at the Southern Utah 20 with 3:12 to play. From there, the Thunderbirds were able to run out the clock.

Portland State used all three quarterbacks trying to find the right mix on offense. They combined to complete only 18-38 passes for 196 yards and three interceptions. The running game had 117 yards but needed 41 carries (2.9 ypc). PSU also lost two fumbles.

Southern Utah had only 64 rushing yards on 36 carries (1.8 ypc) and 119 yards passing.

However, the Thunderbirds two touchdown drives were of 18 and 1 yards, and the field goal drive went just 12 yards after a 22-yard punt return.

Jaycob Shoemaker led the Viking defense with 11 tackles. Dean Faddis made 10 stops. David Edgerson had six tackles and an interception.

GAME NOTES: Wide receiver Kasey Closs was the offensive star for the Vikings, catching five passes for 57 yards… running back DJ Adams had 17 carries for 47 yards… the seven points scored by the Vikings were the fewest in a Big Sky game since losing 14-0 to Montana State on Oct. 7, 2006… PSU was playing in Cedar City for the first time since 1993 and for the first time in a Big Sky Conference game… Portland State will have a bye next Saturday. The Vikings return to conference play on Oct. 26 when they host the University of North Dakota. Kickoff is 1:05 p.m. at JELD-WEN Field.

RSS feed