Vikings stay hot for Big Sky
- jason vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
On College Hoops
Portland State blew out two opponents at Stott Center last weekend, making a statement to the Big Sky Conference with its defense and a solid all-around game.
'When everybody's hitting and scoring, we can't be stopped,' point guard Jeremiah Dominguez says.
The Vikings shot .529 and blitzed Northern Arizona defensively in an 80-66 victory Saturday. A couple days earlier, the Viks beat Sacramento State 83-58.
'It shows how good we can be as a team,' Dominguez says. 'If we can get (opponents) to be one shot and done, we know we can score.'
Coach Ken Bone knows the game plan for PSU success: 'Defend, rebound and share the ball. We need all three.'
Here's an around-the-horn look at our four Division I men's teams, and others:
Portland State (9-7, 2-1 Big Sky)
The Vikings play at Weber State and Idaho State this week. … PSU held Northern Arizona, the Big Sky's best shooting team, to .300 first-half shooting. 'And, our best defender (Dupree Lucas) didn't even play,' Bone says. Lucas has a bad foot. … Dominguez continues to shoot well (.449 on 3-pointers) and distribute (57 assists to 34 turnovers). 'He could average nine assists a game, if he embraced that role,' Bone says. 'I'd like to see him clean up the (extra) dribbling.' … Kyle Coston, shooting under 30 percent entering the NAU game, was 6 of 8 (4 of 5 on 3s) for 22 points as a starting forward. 'Once a shooter, always a shooter,' he says. Bone says: 'Kyle's just needed the confidence. No better way to get it than playing time.' The 6-8 Coston also uses his length on defense. … When Lucas returns, will Andre Murray stay in the starting lineup? Murray is a better all-around player and had 17 points against NAU. … 'We feel we're more athletic, with more quickness, than any team in the Big Sky,' Coston says. … Benson High's J.R. Moore hasn't gotten many minutes. 'He has a really bad knee,' Bone says. … Led by Deonte Huff (12.1 points per game), 12 players average three or more points. Those 12 all average double-figure minutes. … The Viks are shooting .456 from the floor but only .643 from the foul line.
Oregon (10-4, 1-1 Pac-10)
After their big Arizona win, the Ducks play host to Cal and Stanford this week. … Depth continues to be an issue, with Joevan Catron (foot) sidelined until February, and warm bodies Ray Schafer and Drew Viney still hobbled. … Reserves LeKendric Longmire, Frantz Dorsainvil, Churchill Odia and Mitch Platt combine for only 36.2 minutes per game. … Catron averages 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds (.542 FG). … Odia replaced Tajuan Porter as a starter against Arizona. Porter, in a sophomore slump, went 7 of 23 at Arizona/Arizona State (1 of 12 on 3-pointers). He's shooting .396 (.309 from 3 range) and .706 from the line, all worse than last season. He made 91 percent of his free throws as a freshman. … Malik Hairston and Maarty Leunen continue to shine - Hairston is averaging 18.2 points and shooting .572 (.529 on 3s); Leunen is at 15.0 points, while shooting .598, including .475 on 3s. He also is grabbing 10.2 rebounds. … Free-throw shooting could be an issue - the Ducks are at .651.
Oregon State (6-8, 0-2 Pac-10)
The Beavers take on Stanford and Cal this week, after being outscored 90-60 in the second half of losses at Arizona and ASU. … OSU gave up .521 shooting at UA and .512 at ASU, while shooting .407 and .333. … From the field, the Beavers are only .398, with Omari Johnson leading at .511. Oregon State is .638 from the line and .300 on 3-pointers (Seth Tarver leads at .400). … Tarver leads in scoring (13.4 points). Marcel Jones is averaging 12.4 points and 7.2 rebounds, but is shooting .376 (.327 on 3). … C.J. Giles is playing only 16 minutes per game and has fouled out in four of six contests. … The Beavers are plus-4.0 in rebounding but have 178 assists to 195 turnovers. … Coach Jay John has used nine different starters, with Tarver the only 14-game starter. … OSU must win home games to be a Pac-10 factor.
Portland (5-10, 0-0 WCC)
The Pilots are at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount this week to open West Coast Conference play. … UP needs brush-up work on defense, having allowed Yale 63-percent and Army 50-percent shooting in losses. … Nik Raivio leads UP with 13.3 points (.435 FG), while rookie Luke Sikma ranks third in the WCC in rebounding (8.5) and leads UP in shooting (.547), assists, steals and blocked shots. … Lone senior Sherrard Watson has improved his free-throw shooting since last season, going from 59 percent to 79 percent. … The Pilots have been outscored by an average of five points in the second half. … They are coming off the longest road trip (Yale, Army) in school history. … UP is rebounding well (plus-5.3) but averages 16 turnovers. … Marcus Carter played 18 minutes at Army in only his ninth action of the season.
Warner Pacific struggled with defense, losing at Northwest 104-89 and Evergreen 100-94. The Knights allowed those foes to shoot 54 and 58 percent, respectively. Former Knight Nathan Menefee had 32 points for Evergreen. Warner Pacific fell to 7-7 overall, 2-3 Cascade Conference.
Lewis and Clark lost to its first non-Division I opponent, 108-95 to Pacific Lutheran. Lincoln High's Mark Robonowitz had 24 points for the Pioneers (7-3, 1-1 Northwest Conference).
Portland State continues to surge, sweeping Sacramento State and Northern Arizona on the road to move to 12-3 overall (2-0 Big Sky).