Sunday, December 7, 2008

Live Blog: Portland State at Oregon State- End of Game 58-24 Beavers

So the second half treated the Vikings a tad better than their six-point first-half output, however, when you slapped the two less-than-stellar 20-minute performances together the result is far from a masterpiece.

Portland State was outplayed, outschemed and outhustled in Corvallis Sunday afternoon. But you can hardly point the finger at the Beavers and blame them for the 58-24 beating the Vikings endured atop Ralph Miller Court inside Gill Coliseum.

It was the Vikings who deserve the blame for this one.

Lets hope head coach Sheri Murrell makes it clear in the post-game address to her squad that the Vikings, not the Beavers, are the reason Portland State scored a meager six points before halftime.

Lets hope Murrell tells her team they were the reason the Vikings chucked up low-percentage shot after low-percentage shot throughout the game.

And let hope Murrell explains that while the Beavers' defense was fierce, the Vikings could have done a much better job penetrating and attacking the basket.

The fundamentals were simply nonexistent for Portland State as the Vikings suffered easily their worst defeat of the season to the Beavers Sunday afternoon. It was completely unexpected that a team that had played Syracuse tough in a narrow road loss only a few weeks ago would have trouble executing the basics, such as moving the ball and dribbling through traffic without turning it over. But it happened.

The fact of the matter is the Vikings were the team that beat Portland State Sunday--and it happened at the hands of turnovers, poor shot selection and a complete lack of offensive cohesiveness.

Live Blog: Portland State at Oregon State- Second Half 46-18 Beavers

Portland State has scored 12 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. At this point, that is about all you can ask for from the Vikings.

Only once has a Viking attacked that basket--as Kelly Marchant penetrated inside the key and proceeded to miss a layup--and Portland State continues to threw up low-percentage shots to finish off possessions that consist of a mere pass or two.

All and all, Oregon State is dominating the Vikings in every facet of the game. But, more costly for Portland State is the fact that the vast majority of its shortfalls have been self-inflicted, as the combination of no ball movement, poor shot selection and a handful of turnovers has spelled the Vikings demise.

Live Blog: Portland State at Oregon State- Halftime 29-6 Beavers

It's unknown at this time what Portland State's all-time low scoring output for a half is, but Vanguard beat writer Doug Cornett and I are quite sure that the Vikings' six points in the first 20 minutes against Oregon State this afternoon is one of the worst performances ever.

Name one of the key tenets of solid basketball, and I will tell you how Portland State has violated it in some way.

How about take a high-percentage shot whenever possible. Well, thus far the Vikings have opted to settle for off-balance three-pointers and fade-away jumpers instead of moving the ball around in hopes of finding an open shooter.

One other reason Portland State has been forced to chuck up poor shots is the Beavers swarming defense. Seemingly every time the Vikings have brought the ball up the floor they have been unable to penetrate inside the three-point line because the Oregon State defense has been defended the ball with such energy and intensity.

Another tenet of solid basketball is never turn the ball over. However, Portland State has failed to adhere to that one as well. On countless occasions the Vikings have been called for traveling, with most of the infractions coming when a player has made her first move after just catching the ball or attempting a pump fake.

For the most part, Oregon State by has shown little reason for the Vikings to be intimidated on the offensive end. Sure the Beavers have outscored Portland State, however, this has been accomplished without much consistency or effectiveness when running the offense.

The bottom line is the Beavers have benefited more from Portland State's sloppy play than their own excellence on offense.

Live Blog: Portland State at Oregon State- First Half 17-4 Beavers

Here at a mostly empty Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, the action has been pretty even in the first couple minutes.

A quick eye test reveals that Portland State is outsized by taller, lengthier Beavers club. And while that size advantage has helped Oregon State some in the early going, the Vikings are crashing the boards with intensity and have kept the score close. This will be something to watch as the game wears on this afternoon.

One observation from beat writer Doug Cornett is that the Vikings appear to be a bit unsettled and scared of this athletic Oregon State squad. Already Portland State has misfired on a couple passes, taken low-percentage shots and failed to find any semblance of rhythm when running the offense.

With almost 10 minutes left in the first half, Portland State has scored just two buckets and appear to be at the mercy of the Beavers' active, ball-hawking defense.