GAME NOTES: A pair of Big Sky Conference teams fighting through dreadful seasons get together in Cheney, Washington on Monday night, as the Portland State Vikings go on the attack against the Eastern Washington Eagles.
Winless on the road in nine chances this season, the Vikings are in the midst of a three-game slide after bowing to Southern Utah last Thursday in a 76-63 final on the road. With the defeat, PSU has fallen to 3-6 in conference play which has the program in eighth place in the standings.
As for the Eagles, they're just happy to be at home because they've come up empty in their 10 true road tests in 2012-13. All alone in last place in the Big Sky standings with a record of only 2-7, EWU is currently suffering a four-game slide after bowing to Southern Utah, 69-55, two nights ago.
Since the 1983-84 campaign when the Eagles became a Division I program, the all-time series with PSU is all knotted up at 17 games apiece. The Vikings, who list the all-time series which takes into consideration games played before 1983 as being 20-18 in their favor, have taken eight of the last nine matchups.
Suiting up against one of the newest additions to the Big Sky last week, Portland State again found it difficult to compete on the road, the 76-63 setback at Centrum Arena marking the 11th consecutive road defeat for the Vikings dating back to last season. Aaron Moore was the top scorer for PSU with his 19 points, adding nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots, while Lateef McMullan tacked on 14 points and handed out six of the unit's nine assists as they shot a collective 36.0 percent from the field. Over the course of nine conference games, Moore leads the way for PSU with his 14.8 ppg, shooting 52.2 percent from the field while staying close enough to the basket in order to collect 7.6 rpg. McMullan (12.4 ppg), Renado Parker (10.5 ppg) and Michael Harthun (10.3 ppg) are all major contributors when it comes to the group posting 66.8 ppg.
Just like the Vikings, Eastern Washington was also stung by Southern Utah in its most recent outing over the weekend. The Eagles offense was limited to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field, including 6-of-24 behind the 3- point line. which was more than enough to send the team into the loss column once again. The starting five combined to shoot just 9-of-31 from the floor and of them only Venky Jois ended up with double-digit scoring (11 points). Off the bench Collin Chiverton accounted for 14 points in 19 minutes, but he shot only 4-of-13 from the floor along the way. Through nine conference games, the Eagles are scoring only 59.7 ppg, shooting 39.8 percent from the floor and a dismal 61.2 percent at the free-throw line. Jois (13.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg) is really the only bright spot for the group, having accounted for 31 of their 56 blocked shots.
Even though the Vikings have been dreadful on the road all season long, this might be the one shot they have at finally getting over the hump, just as long as Eastern Washington struggles shooting the ball yet again.
Game Date and Time