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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gersten Pavilion (4,156) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: None. Home Record: PSU 1-0, LMU 1-1. Away Record: PSU 0-3, LMU 1-2. Neutral Record: PSU 0-0, LMU 1-1. Conference Record: PSU 0-0, LMU 0-0. Series Record: Portland State leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The Portland State Vikings try to bring an end to a three-game slide on Saturday, as they match up against the Lions of Loyola Marymount in non-conference action.
Since defeating Pacific in the season opener back on Nov. 9, the Vikings have not only come up empty in three subsequent outings, but the squad has fallen by double digits in each of those three tests. Last Sunday, the team went up against 20th-ranked Oklahoma State and suffered an 81-58 setback on the road.
The good news for PSU is that after this stop in Los Angeles, the team will head back to Oregon for a four-game homestand.
As for the Lions, a trip to the Great Alaska Shootout was met with mixed results as the team lost to both Oral Roberts and host Alaska-Anchorage, but in between took care of Texas State by double figures. More recently, LMU matched up with Long Beach State on Thursday and was turned away in a 73-70 decision at home.
Loyola Marymount won the first-ever meeting between the programs back in 1997 by a score of 88-84 in overtime, but since then the Vikings have ripped off three straight victories, including an 84-75 final on Feb. 19, 2011.
The trip to Stillwater was a disappointing one for the Vikings as they fell behind immediately to the Cowboys and never recovered. Shooting only 30.8 percent from the floor in the first half and 39.6 percent for the game, PSU trailed by as many as 29 in the contest. The leading scorers for Portland State were Renado Parker and Michael Harthun who both tallied 12 points, followed by Gary Winston who tacked on another 11 points off the bench for a squad that turned the ball over 16 times in the outing. Parker, one of the many transfer players on the roster for the Vikings, tops the scoring list with his 11.3 ppg, while Dre Winston chips in another 11.0 ppg and Harthun accounts for 10.3 ppg. This group has had a lot of trouble slowing down the opposition through four games, allowing them to shoot a collective 50.2 percent from the floor and 44.3 percent behind the three-point line.
The Lions led by double figures in the first half against LBSU a couple nights back, but in the second half LMU was outscored 12-2 at the free-throw line and that had a lot to do with the outcome. Before fouling out Ashley Hamilton logged a game-high 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while fellow starter Ayodeji Egbeyemi did manage to come up with a double-double for the squad with his 16 points and game-high 11 rebounds, adding four assists as well. C.J. Blackwell's 5-of-8 effort out on the perimeter gave him 15 points off the bench, while Anthony Ireland came close to a double-double of his own with nine points and a game-high eight dishes. Hamilton, the most experienced player on the team, is currently second in scoring with 14.0 ppg but first on the glass with almost eight rebounds per contest. Ireland does it all for the Lions, from his 21.4 ppg to 6.4 rpg and 4.9 apg over the course of seven outings.
If the defense for the Vikings again comes up small just as it has trying to defend opposing shooters, chances are good that the home team will survive in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola Marymount 69, Portland State 64
12/01 10:42:38 ET
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