Saturday, January 24, 2009

PSU kicks it into gear in the second half, 70-47

After a sporadic first half in which the home squad scored just 32 points, the Vikings have exploded for 38 points after just 12 minutes of second half play.

The ginormous offensive surge was prompted by 15 second half points by junior guard Phil Nelson and some terrific perimeter defense by Nelson, Dominguez and Andre Murray.

Murray, now with 15 points, has totally shutdown Benny Valentine and Eastern Washington looks close to throwing in the towel here at the Stott Center.

Nelson, meanwhile, has been all over the court, scoring at will and looking like the player that most thought he would be when the smooth electrician, and yes I coined that nickname, transferred from Washington.

With under six minutes to play, I think its safe to say that the Vikings likely have this one in the bag and it was an impressive showing no doubt about it.

PSU trails at the half, 33-32

After the Stott Center Scuffle two weeks ago that saw the Vikings and Idaho State Bengals carry their fierce play into the locker room tunnel, Stott Center game management did a great job making sure that the teams exited the half separately avoiding any fights.

It has been an entertaining game thus far. It doesn't seem like the Vikings are playing their best basketball and head coach Ken Bone has deployed a number of defensive strategies to slow down a pretty strong Eastern Washington offense led by Benny Valentine.

Valentine has 10 points as does junior forward Mark Dunn. For the Vikings its more of the same story from their last game as senior guard Andre Murray has eight points and junior forward Julius Thomas has six points.

The Vikings are shooting 50 percent from the field but have connected on just four of their 14 three-point attempts.

It seems like a pretty even matchup thus far and the score indicates that as well. Not completely positive on this but it seems like the Vikings will have a tough time getting a victory tonight if Jeremiah Dominguez does not step up a little more.

I was surprised when it was Murray who drew the Valentine matchup on the defensive end of the court and not Dominguez. Usually Dominguez would check Valentine--both small and explosive point guards--but he isn't, and it may be affecting his offensive game as well as he heads into the second half with just three points and one assist.

Midway through the first half PSU leads, 19-18

I certainly anticipated the Vikings and Eagles to battle it out low scoring style tonight ut it looks as if both teams have brought a ton of energy and terrific offense to this game.

For Eastern Washington, junior guard Benny Valentine is the real deal and has helped all those in attendance remember that he was recruited by one of the finest basketball coaches in history, Bob Knight. Valentine transferred from Texas Tech two seasons ago.

The Vikings have gotten strong performances from just about everybody, except senior guard Jeremiah Dominguez who hasn't yet been able to penetrate or hit the shots that he usually does.

The game's momentum may have swung early on a technical foul called by the refs on Eagles head coach Kirk Earlywine who was yapping at the zebras after they missed a call.

PSU vs. Eastern Washington pregame

The gym is looking more full than ever... at least one half of it. Its one of the biggest home games of the season as the Vikings are taking on the school that athletic director Torre Chisholm calls, "Portland State's true rival" in Eastern Washington.

For the first time since maybe forever, the South side of the Stott Center is completely full with less than a minute left before tipoff. Unfortunately the higher priced seats on the North side have some green showing....

Check back for all of your updates during the game.