Saturday, December 6, 2008

Vikings defeat Redhawks: Part II

A full week in between games against Seattle University did not change the result much. After defeating the Redhawks last Saturday in the third place game at the Great Alaska Shootout, the Vikings earned their second consecutive victory, 73-68.

In a hotly contested game, Portland State struggled without point guard Jeremiah Dominguez. Senior guard Andre Murray was the leading scorer for the Vikings with 19 points on a seven for 11 shooting performance.

Seattle, in the midst of their first season of a transition to become a Division I athletics program, presented a scrapping challenge to Portland State who looked sluggish after a one week layoff. Junior wing Phil Nelson was held scoreless for the first time this season but 20 second chance points helped the Vikings overcome Nelson's shooting woes.

Seattle led much of the first half before a Portland State run closed the opening stanza. But the second half looked like more of the same, with the Redhawks holding a slim lead. Hillsboro High School graduate Chris Gweth poured in 14 second half points.

But the game swung after a Dominic Waters steal led to a two on one fastbreak with Waters feeding Murray for a thunderous alley-oop dunk.

Portland State will face local-foe Lewis & Clark on Tuesday night at the Stott Center. Last season the Pioneers, a Division III school, nearly defeated Portland State in a non-conference game played at the Rose Garden.

Random notes:
Junior Kyle Coston was at the center of several intense moments during the game against Seattle. The first came halfway through the first half when Coston connected with a Redhawks player's face after swinging an elbow. He drew a personal foul but the foul caught the attention of Seattle who seemed to play extra close attention to Coston during the rest of the game.

In the second half, Coston got engtangled with Leigh Swanson and the two collided as they got up off the floor. Swanson may or may not have helped Coston back to the floor but the junior southpaw sold the collision for all it was worth and Swanson was handed with an intentional foul.

Murray's dunk was not just one of the highlights of the game, but may have been one of the most impressive plays in the history of the Stott Center. On press row, it was tough for the writers to not fall victim to some level of being a fan as the 6-4, and typically grounded, Murray soared above the rim and two Redhawks for the highlight.

After letting the new uniforms that the Vikings have been wearing sink in for a little bit, I have decided that I think they are pretty sharp. If you haven't seen them check them out here.

One thing that would make the team look even sharper, is if the team would all wear the same shoe. Today they were all decked out in the Nike Hyperdunk.

However, there were three different variations of the same shoe on the court. Some green and black, some black on black and some were white with black. Figure it out fellas.