Friday, January 13, 2012

Portland State Tops Northern Colorado

In a game between two of the best offenses in the Big Sky, Portland State was able to come to Greeley and get a huge road win over Northern Colorado, beating the Bears 86-75. The Vikings jumped out to a 49-36 halftime lead and never let go in the second half, improving to 2-3 in the Big Sky.

Interestingly, the Vikings have relied on getting inside all year, but they won this game with their outside shooting.

Portland State entered the game as the best shooting team in the Big Sky Conference at .480 from the field, but the worst three-point shooting team in the Big Sky at .292. The most threes the Vikings had made in any game all season was seven. But they reached that mark within the first 15 minutes and made 13 for the night. PSU shot .619 from distance and .617 overall.
They got a great effort from the guards tonight, as all of them were rolling. Charles Odum had 22 points (7/9 shooting, 2/4 3PT), Lateef McMullan had the best game of his Division I career with 20 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Michael Harthun threw in 18 points, and Gary Winston even threw in 11 points (and 3 threes) off the bench. It was a group effort, and the potent offense shows the rest of the Big Sky that they are still capable of beating anyone.

Northern Colorado was simply above average offensively, which unfortunately for them was not enough to get it done. They had great balance, as both Mike Proctor and Connor Osborne led the way with 16 points. Surprising that UNC was able to control the inside. Elliott Lloyd (13) and Tevin Svihovec (11) were also in double figures for the Bears.

With the win, PSU has some momentum, and are showing that they might be able to fulfill some of that preseason promise. UNC lost, but they can't be too discouraged after this one (except maybe with their defensive effort). They ran into a team that made 13/21 from downtown even though they aren't much of an outside shooting team. They should be okay as well.

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