Portland State (12-12) at Eastern Washington (13-13)
02/24/2014 7:36 AM
02/24/2014 7:43 AM
GAME NOTES: The Eastern Washington Eagles have won three consecutive games, and will seek a fourth as they host the Portland State Vikings in a Big Sky Conference clash at Reese Court.
Portland State ended a four-game skid with a victory Thursday night over Southern Utah, 86-79. The Vikings, following the four-game losing streak, find themselves 7-8 in conference play with five games left on the schedule.
Eastern Washington has won three consecutive games and five of the team's last six altogether. The Eagles took on Southern Utah Saturday night - a team that hasn't beaten a Division I opponents this season - and defeated the Thunderbirds, 85-74. The Eagles are 8-7 in the Big Sky standings on the year.
Portland State holds a slim all-time series lead over Eastern Washington, 22-19. The Vikings extended their streak against the Eagles back on Jan. 27 with a 92-83 win in Portland.
Portland State held just a 29-26 lead over Southern Utah Thursday night, but the Vikings came out firing in the second half, netting 57 points in 20 minutes and extending their lead by another four points for the win. Gary Winston netted 26 points to pace the Vikings, and DaShaun Wiggins chipped in with 19 of his own. Andre Winston rounded out the double-digit scorers for Portland State in the contest, contributing 13 points.
Wiggins has taken over as the team's leading scorer this season, netting 13 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting from the floor. Tom Douglas, who scored just four points in the win over the Thunderbirds, checks in at second in scoring with 12.7 ppg. Gary Winston adds 10.5 ppg, and Andre Winston tops the team with 56 assists on the year. Kyle Richardson is the team's active leader in rebounding with 5.4 rpg.
Eastern Washington jumped ahead of Southern Utah early and led by 15 points just over halfway through the first half, but the Thunderbirds made a late rally and trailed the Eagles by just four points at the half. EWU netted 47 points in the second period to stave off any comeback attempt for the win. Venky Jois led the team with 29 points and 13 rebounds in the contest, and Tyler Harvey scored 26 points, connecting on 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. Drew Brandon finished the double-digit scoring for EWU with 16 points.
Harvey is having a massive season for the Eagles, netting a conference-high 21.8 ppg on 45.3 percent shooting from the field. Harvey's 88 percent touch from the free-throw line has been his best attribute this season, hitting 125- of-142 from the charity stripe. Jois checks in with a 13.3 ppg average and a team-leading 8.1 rpg mark, adding a team-best 1.4 bpg. Brandon is third in scoring at 11.3 ppg, adding a team-best 5.5 apg. Parker Kelly rounds out the double-digit scorers for the Eagles at 10.1 ppg.
Eastern Washington has come on strong toward the late portion of its schedule, and has exploded offensively, scoring over 80 points in each of the team's last three games. Portland State will need some serious offensive contributions in order to keep pace in Cheney.
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