Viking women edge Pilots
It is not often that a team gets up 29 fewer shots than its opponent and wins a basketball game.
But the Portland State Vikings did that in sinking crosstown rival Portland 77-71 in a Tuesday nonconference women's basketball game at Chiles Center.
Portland State survived watching Portland attempt 80 shots by making 23 of 32 free throws, and because the Pilots had trouble hitting the target.
Sidney Rielly had 18 points and Courtney West and Kiana Brown had 13 apiece for the Vikings.
Portland State (3-4) led for the final 22 minutes. The Vikings led by 10 points late, but for most of the second half the margin was three to seven.
The Pilots (3-3) were led by 15 points from guard Darian Slaga and 14 points and 10 rebounds from forward Julie Spencer.
Portland finished 25 of 80 from the floor, 5 of 22 from 3-point distance.
"We were lucky tonight that they shot 22 percent from 3s," Portland State coach Lynn Kennedy said, noting the Viks' zone defense was focused on limiting Spencer.
The Pilots got those extra shots by collecting 24 offensive rebounds (for 18 second-chance points) and by forcing the Vikings into 23 turnovers.
"(Rebounding) was a big part of the game," Rielly said. "We've got to clean that up and our turnovers and manage the game better in that sense."
The Vikings are without one of their key players for a couple more weeks. Junior guard Ashley Bolston, a preseason all-Big Sky selection, has yet to play after undergoing hip surgery over the summer. She is practicing and is expected to return in early December.
With Bolston out, freshman Kylie Jimenez has had an early opportunity to play point guard. Against Portland, despite rolling her ankle earlier Tuesday, the Colorado native played 36 minutes. She contributed 11 points and seven assists, with only two turnovers.
Jimenez has done a good job, and Rielly and Kiana Brown have stepped up their play without Bolston, according to Kennedy.
"We're finding different people every game to step up. I love our posts," Kennedy said, pointing to Tuesday's 10 rebounds and six points off the bench from 6-3 Pia Jurhar as an example.
The Pilots have been battling injuries, too. Slaga, a junior, played in only her second game of the season on Tuesday. Junior Lisa-Marie Kaempf and freshman Josie Matz also have missed time.
"I just felt like we had a hard time getting into the flow. Anytime we got on a little run, there were some quick fouls," Pilots coach Cheryl Sorenson said. "It was just a constant grind. We could never just open the gates and let it go. We battled back. I like the fight that our girls showed."
Portland State took an 11-2 lead, but Portland responded with a 13-3 run to move in front.
PSU went on a 12-1 run late in the second quarter and led 44-38 at intermission. Five Vikings scored during that spurt.
Second-chance points kept the Pilots in the game. Portland converted 12 offensive boards into 11 points in the first half, with Spencer grabbing five of them and scoring eight first-half points.
Slaga was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in the first half and led the Pilots with 13 points at the break.
But the Pilots made 1 of 11 3-pointers in the second half.
"Just having a hand up and contesting shots was a big thing for us," said West, who made all five of her field goals and scored 12 of her 13 points in the first half. The 6-4 junior also blocked three shots and grabbed seven rebounds.
Corey James made three 3-pointers in the second quarter and had all 10 of her points at halftime.
For the Pilots, Matz, Kaempf and senior forward Ashley Gray each scored 10 points off the bench.
Next for the Pilots is a Sunday game at Washington.
Next for the Vikings is a Saturday game at Gonzaga.