Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PSU headed to the Dance again, 79-77

Written by: Tom Sedun, Vanguard staff

The Portland State Vikings are headed to the NCAA tournament again after defeating Montana State in a wire to wire 79-77 victory over Montana State in front of 1546 at the Dee Event Center in Ogden, Utah.

“We beat an impressive team in Montana State, said head coach Ken Bone who has now led the Vikings to its second NCAA tournament in school history. “This victory is a tribute to our team.”

Senior captain Jeremiah Dominguez led all scorers with 22 points and was named the Big Sky tournament Most Valuable Player. Divaldo Mbunga led the Bobcats with 20 points and ten rebounds.

“It’s a great feeling after working so hard,” Dominguez said. “We had some struggles in the middle of the season, but we were able to come out and win the championship.”

“Jeremiah put us on his back,” said junior forward Julius Thomas who scored 17, including the game winning slam from Dominic Waters with five seconds remaining.”He is the leader of this team.”

The first half was nip and tuck with both teams exchanging baskets en route to a 40-39 halftime lead for the Vikings. Kyle Coston provided much of the energy for the high scoring half for Portland State with seven points.

“Kyle came out with tremendous confidence,” said Bone. “He was a definite presence on the defensive end.”

In the second half with the game tied at 50 and Montana State being the early aggressors, Dominguez ignited his team to a 11-1 run giving Portland State a ten-point advantage with 12:25 to play.

“I didn’t want to go out like that,” Dominguez said. “I got a feeling in my stomach and sometimes you feel confident in yourself; luckily I hit some big shots and made some plays down the stretch.”

Montana State had a chance to force overtime or win the game outright with 2.5 seconds remaining. But junior guard Dominic Waters stripped Brendan Johnson in the middle of his game winning shot attempt.

“They (Montana State) threw it to Howard and Dom’ (Waters) guarded him well,” Bone said.
Now the Vikings wait for selection Sunday to see who and where they will play their first round game.

“Last year was exciting to get to the tournament, this year we’re excited to be going again, but lets try to build from last year’s experience and go win a game.

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