Sunday, February 8, 2009

Vikings defeat Sac St, 59-42

It surely wasn't pretty, but the Vikings defended their home court, and picked up a victory to keep pace in the race for Big Sky Conference supremacy by defeating Sacramento State, 59-42.

The victory, which came without junior center Jamie Jones, was one of the slowest paced games that the Vikings have played in all season. Sac. State head coach Brian Katz deployed a slow paced game and deliberated on each play call as if he were a Supreme Court judge.

The talk of the game was how the Vikings responded without Jones, the man who had started at center every game and provided much of the interior scoring for the squad this year.

Julius Thomas filled in nicely with a double-double while Kyle Coston and Tyrell Mara each had their best interior game since conference play began, each grabbing six rebounds. The trio combined to score 27 points and 22 rebounds.

It was interesting to watch Katz attempt to thwart the high powered offense by forcing his team to waste the majority of the shot clock on each posession by dribbling around near mid court. He then would methodically signal in a play that his team would run, usually with only a moderate amount of success.

It was an usual strategy, especially for a first year coach that has a roster of entirely new faces that each are in their first year since transferring from a junior college. Most people would have probably suggested that the Hornets try to beat the Vikings at their own game, out scoring the home squad.

But Sac St opted to slow the game down and despite the low scoring output from both teams, nobody at the game, including the Hornet players, looked like they thought it would work.

It was interesting to see and hear the television announcers call the game from the sideline. Former Portland State player Rashad Floyd was on the commentary and while he occasionally bumbled through information, a la Woody Paige on Around the Horn, they did a decent job, although the final word may come tonight when the broadcast actually airs.

The Vikings are going to have to get standout performances from Dominguez, Waters, Murray and Nelson if they are to have a shot to beat Weber State on Saturday. The Idaho State game is no cakewalk either, although it looks like the Bengals may be without conference leading scorer Amarrow Morgan who is with an ailing family member.

I will leave you with the aforementioned Floyd's highlight video... good stuff...

PSU and Sac. State gridlocked at 8-8

After playing more than eight minutes in the first half, its clear that the Hornets game plan is to keep the ball away from the Portland State offense.

Sacramento State is holding the ball near half court the majority of the shot clock before initializing their play, and usually being successful at that play.

The Vikings are struggling on offense, committing several turnovers and missing most of the shots that they typically would make. Word is trickling down slowly about the injury of Jamie Jones who suffered some sort of foot injury (more on that later) and may be out the rest of the regular season.

Obviously Jones' absence could be devastating for the Vikings chances in the Big Sky.

Vikings take on Sac. St pregame

Here in the unusually empty Stott Center, there is an usually large media sighting...

The Altitude Network is making their only appearance in the Stott Center this year and the two announcers are sitting next to yours truly. It's a good thing I shaved today...

In other news---

The Stott is unusually empty. My guess is that Ken Bone would have rather played this game on a Saturday night.

Jamie Jones is out with a collection of injuries to his ankle and wrist. The junior will miss his first game of the year despite being hampered by the wrist injury for quite some time. Julius Thomas will get the start in his stead.