Oregon State (5-2) at Portland State (1-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 12, 10:35 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: CSN-NW. Home Record: Oregon St. 4-0, Portland St. 1-0. Away Record: Oregon St. 0-1, Portland St. 0-4. Neutral Record: Oregon St. 1-1, Portland St. 0-0. Conference Record: Oregon St. 0-0, Portland St. 0-0. Series Record: Oregon State leads, 12-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Portland State Vikings face a tall task as they try to put the brakes on a four-game losing streak, as they host the Oregon State Beavers, a team the Vikings have never beaten in 12 previous matchups.
The Beavers have won three of their last four games, including an 85-54 rout of Grambling State in Corvallis in their last outing. That victory pushed Oregon State to 5-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 at home. In their only true road game, the Beavers were unable to pull off the upset against a powerful Kansas squad. Next on the slate for Oregon State is a pair of home bouts beginning against Chicago State.
The Vikings are returning home after a disastrous four-game road trip. PSU was unable to earn a single victory during the trip, including a 66-56 loss to Loyola-Marymount the last time out. This contest marks just the second at home for Portland State, which earned a 77-58 win over the Pacific (OR) Boxers. Three more home games await the Vikings next beginning against Division III foe George Fox.
Oregon State raced out to a 46-22 lead at halftime against Grambling State and never looked back en route to an easy victory. The Beavers shot just 42.0 percent in the game, but hit 11-of-24 shots from beyond the arc and also doubled up Grambling State in points from the free throw line (16-8). Oregon State also forced 23 turnovers and allowed only 14 points in the paint. Roberto Nelson hit five threes in the contest and finished with a game-high 26 points.
The Beavers have been piling up the points this season. Oregon State averages 77.4 ppg and shoots at a solid 45.5 percent from the field. The Beavers have found a great deal of success from beyond the arc with the 27th-best shooting percentage from long distance (.395). Oregon State is also one of the best rebounding teams in the country, pulling down 42.7 rpg, which is 18th-best. At the other end, teams are scoring 67.3 ppg but shooting just 39.3 percent from the field. In the backcourt, Ahmad Starks (16.4 ppg) and Nelson (13.9 ppg) have powered the team's offense. Both have shown no fear in shooting from just about anywhere on the court, especially Starks who has hit at least five triples in three different games. The Beavers also have strength on the inside in Angus Brandt (11.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Eric Moreland (8.7 ppg, 11.6 rpg) and Devon Collier (13.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg). Collier has been used exclusively as a spark off the bench.
At the end of the first half, Portland State trailed by just a single point against Loyola-Marymount (30-29). In the second half, the Vikings managed to take a lead (43-42) with 12:52 remaining, but the Lions went on an 9-0 run and hit their free throws down the stretch to hand PSU the loss. The Vikings shot just 40.7 percent from the field in the game and were outscored 16-5 from the charity stripe. Marcus Hall scored 16 points off the bench as the Vikings' lead scorer.
On the year, Portland State has largely been less than competitive in contests. The Vikings are suffering from a minus-9.2 scoring differential and have been outscored by double digits in all four losses. Two of those contests ended with deficits of more than 20 points. The Vikings have also allowed teams to shoot at a 48.4 percent clip while managing to bring in only 27.4 rebounds per game. That mark is among the 10 worst in the nation. Dre' Winston (11.6 ppg) is the top scoring threat on the roster and he is coming off of a 14-point showing against Loyola-Marymount. However, Winston was held scoreless in the previous game. Renado Parker (10.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and Michael Harthun (10.0 ppg) are also scoring in double figures. Gary Winston (7.2 ppg) has been used primarily as a reserve but is the only other player scoring more than seven points per game. Aaron Moore (6.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the top rebounder.
While being back home could improve Portland State's fortunes, the Vikings are severely out-manned both in the backcourt and frontcourt against Oregon State.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 88, Portland State 62
12/12 10:49:39 ET