Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vikings defeat Bengals, 85-58

It appears that the Vikings have started a new conference winning streak.

Portland State seems to be cruising for their fourth conference win and will send the Idaho State Bengals home with their third consecutive loss.

Outside of the refs taking over the second half a bit, it has been a great game for Viking fans.

Midway through the second half- PSU leads 65-43

The result of the Stott Center Scuffle, and I am coining that phrase was literally, nothing.

Both teams began the second half as if the incident never happened outside of the officials conducting a minute-long conference with both coaches.

Portland State player Paul Guede who hasn't played in over a month because of a stress fracture mysteriously did not join the Vikings on the court after the intermission possibly due to his involvement in the fight although that is unverified.

Guede was in street clothes on the bench and just recently got the boot taken off his foot so I would question his mobility and ability to really throw down, not that I am an expert.

Portland State continues to hold strong, sharing the ball better than usual and getting solid inside and outside play. Julius Thomas has played outstanding down on the block and controlled the paint on the defensive end.

Idaho State has found recent success off of dribble-penetration by Stucki but they seem a little out of the game at this point to make a serious run. Plus, they really struggle from beyond the arc.

It is hard seeing how this team defeated Utah (who also beat Gonzaga), and played BYU and Utah State tough. Maybe we just aren't seeing their best tonight.

Idaho State coach Joe O'Brien just got teed up and is asking to be kicked out of the game.

Maybe he wants to avoid the possibility of being in the middle of another skirmish, this one potentially coming at the end of the game on the way to the locker room.

Halftime at the Stott, PSU leads 38-24

It has been a well played but rather ordinary first half here in Portland.

The story of the night, up to an interesting halftime incident that we'll discuss later, was the Vikings ability to get strong inside play from Jamie Jones, Julius Thomas and Tyrell Mara.

The three players have combined for 17 points, which is more than the Vikings got from those players all of the Weber State game. Portland State has also caused havoc by grabbing nine offensive rebounds and seven steals.

Idaho State looks solid, but to be honest, not well coached. Most of the Bengals look like they don't have true roles and outside of senior Matt Stucki, who hasn't scored, seem void of any true leadership.

The story of the half will undoubtedly be the minor scuffle that ensued as both teams tried to leave the floor to head to the locker room out the same door.

According to one unconfirmed eye witness, a Bengal player gave an extra nudge to at least one Viking as they ran into the small open way to head to the locker rooms. A gigantic pushing match ensued with players having to be separated by the Portland State coaching staff.

The cat fight was only observed by a small percentage of the crowd at first but quickly had the rest of the crowd and the entire press row running to get a view of the fracas.

It is unclear what will happen by way of official repercussion from the game referee's.

PSU leads 14-4 early in the first half

The Vikings have gotten off to a terrific start behind some aggressive defense, Andre Murray shooting and two fastbreak dunks by Nelson.

Idaho State has yet to find their rhythm on offense and the Vikings defense has led to some easy baskets. Well they could have been easy but Nelson upped the degree of difficulty with two pretty breathtaking dunks to get the Stott crowd off their feet.

The Vikings are also getting some decent play inside from Jamie Jones and Kyle Coston, something they didn't get at all on Thursday.

PSU vs. Idaho State Live Blog

The Vanguard will be liveblogging tonights Big Sky matchup between the Vikings and the Bengals from the Stott Center.


Junior forward Phil Nelson is wearing a Rip Hamiltonish mask covering his face. Not sure if he was dinged up in the waning moments of the Weber State game or at practice on Friday or if he just wants to change up his style after playing so poorly at home. He is averaging just seven points during home games this season and shooting just 18 percent from beyond the arc.

Idaho State is out in their trademark orange jerseys with black trim. Let me just say this: yours truly is not a fan.

Big Sky Conference blogger extraordinaire Kellis Robinett is here live blogging for the Idaho State Journal. I am a big fan of his work and you should check it out.

The Stott Center was pretty packed for Thrusday night's game against Weber State but at least one school official was not pleased with how quiet the crowd was. He remarked that this should be the most intimidating place for opposing teams in the Big Sky because of the setup of the gym.