Friday, January 16, 2009

Back on Top

Somewhere last night Portland State head coach Ken Bone clinched his fist and gave a powerful, Tiger Woods-like pump. Well, at least he should have. Add Image
With Weber State's slip up against Montana State Friday night, losing 75-70 to the Bobcats at home, Bone and the Vikings return to their rightful place atop the Big Sky Conference standings.

As most Portland State fanatics, and yes there are some now, know, Weber State handed the Vikings their only conference loss a couple weeks ago. So this is certainly some indirect revenge.

This is definitely good news for Portland State, who is headed into the Big Sky Game of the Week versus Northern Colorado on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The top-seeded Vikings are 4-1 in conference play thus far, however, they have yet to face off against the Bears, who are 7-11 overall and 3-2 versus conference foes.

Sunday's matchup features the two highest scoring teams in the Big Sky, so offense will be at premium. It is defense that will determine the outcome, as the Vikings allow the fourth least points of any Big Sky team while the Bears give up close to 76 points per game, the worst mark in the conference.

Another important statistic will be three-point shooting, as the Vikings jack up the most three-pointers in the conference but the Bears actually own the highest shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
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But forget about all these numbers, figures and percentages, because there is one thing above all else that will decide the winner: the mask.

If Portland State sophomore forward Phil Nelson straps up the protective mask he wore in a 23-point performance in a victory over Idaho State last Saturday, the verdict is already in and done: Vikings victory.