Relentless Vikings overrun Stanford
Even when the shots weren't falling in the first half on Sunday, Portland State believed it was just a matter of time until the tide turned.
A flurry of turnovers then flustered Stanford, and the Vikings started knocking down 3's.
The result was a second-half surge that gave Portland State an 87-78 win over Stanford to close out their PK80 Invitational schedules.
The win at Memorial Coliseum — PSU's first in three all-time meetings with Stanford — earned the Vikings (5-2 this season) seventh place in the Motion Bracket.
Stanford (3-5) led by nine points at halftime and by 12 early in the second half. But five of Stanford's 28 turnovers fueled a 15-2 run for Portland State that put the Viks ahead, 63-57. That burst included two 3-pointers from freshman guard Holland Woods, a deep 3 from Michael Mayhew and a steal and layup from Deontae North.
The Vikings outscored the Cardinal 31-8 over an 11-minute span of the second half.
"They were relentless. Our guys didn't stop," PSU coach Barret Peery said. "We didn't change our pace. We didn't change our attitude. We didn't change what we do for 40 minutes."
What Peery's Viks do is press full court, crash the offensive boards at least four at a time, and fly around in half-court defense.
"They play their tails of," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. "They are sending five guys to the offensive glass at times. They're pressing the entire game. They use surprise traps, and they play very, very hard and very physical, and we got sped up and were not able to make fundamental plays."
North finished with 22 points to lead PSU. North also had a team-high seven rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
Bryce Canda had 17 points and four of the Vikings' 18 steals. Mayhew had 12 points and five steals, and Woods finished with 13 points.
Stanford's Reid Travis was a handful inside, producing 28 points and 14 rebounds. He had 10 of those boards in the first half. Robert Cartwright had 19 points off the bench for the Cardinal.
Peery said the Vikings were better on the defensive boards in the second half, "and then we wore them out. Guys were in good condition. We kept coming. We kept the pressure on them all the time. You guys saw how the dam breaks."
After hitting 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half, Portland State was 7 of 15 in the second half.
"At halftime, coach told us that over time our playing style would wear on them, and it did," North said.
The win came after PSU led top-ranked Duke in the second half on Thursday and had a last-second chance to win miss in a two-point loss to Butler on Friday.
In addition to scoring 40 points off of turnovers, the Vikings had a 6-0 advantage in fast-break points, a 38-21 advantage in bench points and shot 11 more free throws and outscored the Cardinal by 12 from the foul line.
"This is a good starting point for us, and we have something to look back on: how we played against the No. 1 team in the nation; how we lost to Butler by two; how we were down to Stanford by 10 and came back and won," Canda said. "I think this is a learning experience and something we can look back on."