Portland State (5-14) at Northern Arizona (8-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 8:35 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Walkup Skydome (7,000) -- Flagstaff, Arizona. Television: FCS, FSN-AZ+. Home Record: Portland State 5-4. NAU 4-4. Away Record: Portland State 0-10, NAU 3-9. Neutral Record: Portland State 0-0, NAU 1-1. Conference Record: Portland State 3-9, NAU 5-7. Series Record: Portland State leads, 22-17.
GAMES NOTES: The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks will try to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season when the Portland State Vikings come to the Walkup Skydome for a Big Sky matchup.
Portland State will just be trying to get a single win after the Vikings lost for the sixth straight time last Saturday in a 70-64 setback against Montana State. The loss dropped the Vikings to just 5-14 overall and 3-9 in league play. Portland State will have to reverse a disturbing trend to get back in the win column as it has yet to earn a victory in its previous 10 road games.
Northern Arizona topped Sacramento State 62-61, on a pair of free throws from Michael Dunn with seven seconds remaining. The win broke a short two-game slump for the Lumberjacks who took home consecutive victories for the first time with wins against Idaho State and Northern Colorado near the end of January. Northern Arizona is 8-14 overall with a 5-7 mark against teams from the Big Sky. At home the Lumberjacks have split their eight games, though they are 3-1 at Walkup Skydome in conference play.
With wins in the last three meetings, including a 79-74 victory earlier this season, Portland State has increased its all-time series lead to 22-17 against Northern Arizona.
Despite shooting 48.3 percent from the floor Portland State fell short against Montana State. The difference came in points from the free-throw line where the Bobcats had a 13-4 advantage. The Vikings were also on the short end of a 37-27 difference on the boards.
Though they have four players averaging in double figures this season, the Vikings haven't exactly blown the doors off opponents. Portland State is just the sixth best scoring team in the Big Sky (67.2 ppg) and the fourth best shooting squad (.451). Aaron Moore (12.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) leads the way in the scoring column. Renado Parker (10.9 ppg), Michael Harthun (10.3 ppg) and Lateef McMullan (10.0 ppg) have all hovered around double digits all season but none has been particularly consistent.
Northern Arizona rallied from a 14-point deficit against Sacramento State to pick up a win. The Lumberjacks ripped off a 21-5 run down the stretch to take a 58-56 lead with 2:14 remaining. After surrendering that lead Dunn scored four points in the final minute to help Northern Arizona escape.
In the win Dunn had only eight points while it was lead scorer Gabe Rogers (16.5 ppg) that yet again carried the load offensively by dropping in 22 points. The 6-foot-2 guard has scored at least 22 points in four of the last five games and currently ranks second in the conference in scoring. Rogers hasn't been alone this season with DeWayne Russell (14.8 ppg) also ranking among the top 10 scorers in the conference. However after those two only Max Jacobsen (9.3 ppg) is putting in more than 6.5 points per game.
Though they suffered a loss last time these teams met the Lumberjacks should turn it around against a Portland State squad that has been terrible away from home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Arizona 77, Portland State 73
02/07 10:37:03 ET