PSU comes up short
A late push came up just short as Portland State couldn't quite answer Montana's Michael Oguine on Saturday afternoon in a three-point loss to the Grizzlies at Lewis & Clark College's Pamplin Sports Center.
Oguine scored a career-high 39 points as Montana improved to 13-5, 6-0 in Big Sky play.
Portland State (12-6, 2-3 Big Sky) cut a 13-point deficit to one and had two late possessions with a chance to tie, but Montana made five free throws in the final 47 seconds to secure the win.
Oguine was 12 for 17 from the floor and 12 of 16 from the line as the Grizzles shot 47 free throws and made 33 of them.
The Vikings struggled with their shooting against a Grizzles defense geared to limit Portland State's 3-point opportunities. PSU attempted 24 3-pointers and made only five (1 of 10 in the second half). The 3-point struggles contributed to overall 33-of-77 (43 percent) shooting for the Vikings.
Five players scored in double figures for Portland State. Bryce Canda had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Deontae North had 18 points, Holland Woods 16, Derek Brown 12 and Edwards 11.
Portland State was shorthanded for the second game in a row and could have used forwards Brandon Hollins and Jamie Orme, who missed their second game of the weekend because of illness.
"When you're in a heavyweight fight like that, I think you got to have all your bullets," PSU coach Barret Peery said. "It was a little hard. We had to mix and match lineups a little bit. It was tough."
Vikings 7-1 senior Ryan Edwards, who scored 11 points, fouled out in only eight minutes on the floor. Traylin Ferris, returning from illness played 14 minutes and fouled out. PSU was called for 32 fouls.
Led by Oguine, the Grizzlies were able to create opportunities by attacking the rim, especially in the second half, when they quickly erased a six-point halftime PSU lead.
"We had a hard time protecting the rim when we had to be small, so they could drive to the rim and finish," Peery said.
Montana went up 79-66 with 5:29 left, but a 17-5 Viks run got PSU within one with 1:12 remaining.
"We got down 13 in a game of runs. Our guys showed great toughness and battled back and did a good job," Peery said.
Two free throws by Montana's Ahmaad Rorie made the score 86-83 with 46.2 seconds left. PSU's Derek Brown missed an attempt to tie the game from 3-point distance, and the Grizzlies made sure the Vikings didn't get another possession within striking distance.
Portland State, which is playing its home games at Lewis & Clark this season, next goes back on the road for games at Idaho State and at Weber State.