PSU owns tiebreaker for conference tourney seeding

by: SCOTT LARSON/PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY - Leigh-Ann Haataja of Portland State got the winning stuff block in Thursday night's match against North Dakota.THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS


Portland State tops North Dakota 3-2 at Stott Center to tie UND for first place in the Big Sky Conference.

In the Pac-12, sixth-ranked Stanford held off Oregon 3-1 at Matthew Knight Arena, and No. 20 Cal beat OSU 3-1 at Gill Coliseum.

Men's basketball

Concordia (5-1) hits the 100-point mark for the second game in a row, winning 117-67 at home over New Hope Christian.


PSU wins fifth set 15-12

• PSU downed North Dakota 24-26, 25-22, 25-10, 24-26, 15-12 to move into a tie for first in the Big Sky with the visitors.

Both teams are 14-3 with three matches left in the regular season, and they have split their two meetings, each winning 3-2 on the other's court.

Leigh-Ann Haataja's stuff block winner gave Portland State the winning point. The 6-1 junior middle blocker from Mill Creek, Wash., had a match-high nine blocks, along with seven kills and five digs.HAATAJA

Senior outside hitter Aubrey Mitchell had a kill that gave her team a 13-12 lead in the decisive set. An attack error then set up match point.

The Vikings had a season-high seven solo blocks and tied their season high with 17 overall blocks.

PSU outhit UND .225 to .190.

The Viks' regular-season home finale is 7 p.m. Saturday against Sacramento State (8-8). PSU's other remaining regular-season matches are Nov. 21 at Weber State (3-14) and Nov. 23 at Idaho State (12-5, tied for third with Northern Arizona).

North Dakota will play Saturday at Eastern Washington (6-10), then be at Grand Forks, N.D., to face NAU on Nov. 21 and Southern Utah (3-14) on Nov. 23.

The top six teams in the regular-season standings advance to the conference tournament Nov. 29-30 at Stott Center. The top two teams receive first-round byes.

If Portland State and North Dakota wind up in a tie for first, PSU would get the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament based on the Big Sky's third tiebreaker (points scored in head-to-head matches). The Vikings scored 14 more points than UND in their 10 games against each other.

Concordia men averaging 104 points per game

• The Concordia Cavaliers' 113-67 victory Thursday night at home over New Hope Christian boosted their season scoring average to 104.

The Cavs (5-1) shot 56.9 percent from the field and had five players reach double figures: Willy Ligon (21), Adam Herman (20), Kory Kirwan (18), Thomas Pierce (18) and Marquis Matthews (10).

Concordia visits George Fox on Nov. 23 for a 7 p.m. nonleague game.

Errors cost Ducks

• The Oregon Ducks had their shot at visiting Stanford on Thursday, leading most of the way in the third set after splitting the first two sets with the No. 6 Cardinal. But some unforced defensive errors and mis-hits enabled Stanford to rally for a 25-23 third-set victory, and the Cardinal cruised 25-15 in the fourth set.

"That was a winnable match," UO coach Jim Moore lamented. "Unfortunately, we didn't execute when we needed to."

Liz Brenner and Ariana Williams led Oregon with 15 kills each. Lauren Plum had 44 assists and 17 digs.

The Ducks will play host to Cal at 6 p.m. Friday.

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