Northern Colorado (9-18) at Portland State (15-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 28th, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: Northern Colorado 5-9, Portland State 8-3. Away Record: Northern Colorado 2-9, Portland State 5-10. Neutral Record: Northern Colorado 2-0, Portland State 2-0. Conference Record: Northern Colorado 5-10, Portland State 9-6. Series Record: Eastern Washington leads, 35-27.
GAMES NOTES: With Portland State already locked into the third seed in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, the Vikings will just try to add another win to their ledger this season, when the Northern Colorado Bears come to the Stott Center for a conference matchup.
This will be the second meeting of the season between these clubs with Portland State taking that first by a score of 86-75. The win gives Portland State a 12-3 record all-time against Northern Colorado although the Bears have accumulated all three of their wins in the last four contests.
UNC is just 5-10 in league play so far this season, paired with a 9-18 overall record. The Bears have traded wins and losses in the last four games with the last outing ending in an 88-71 defeat to conference leading Weber State.
Portland State has enjoyed a somewhat successful season by going 15-13 overall, including a solid 9-6 against league opponents. The Vikings are playing well as the season comes to a close with wins in back-to-back games and five of the last six overall. The Vikings will host sixth-seeded Montana State in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Tournament on Saturday.
Northern Colorado played as well as could be expected against Weber State on Saturday but was beaten by double digits, shooting just 43.8 percent from the floor while being outscored from the free-throw line (23-10) and from beyond the arc (33-15).
Even though it hasn't been able to post a ton of wins this season, Northern Colorado has put up plenty of points. The Bears are the fourth highest scoring team in the Big Sky (72.3 ppg) while shooting the second best mark in the league (47.9 percent). The defense for Northern Colorado has not been able to hold leads though, allowing a generous 75.4 points per game. There is no real dominant scorer on this team with the wealth spread between five players averaging between 9.4 and 11.0 points per game. Tate Unruh (11.0 ppg) is the lead scorer and matched his season average by putting in 11 points against Weber State. Tevin Svihovec (10.8 ppg) is the teams only other player averaging in double figures, while Emmanuel Addo (9.6 ppg) and Mike Proctor (9.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) add some depth.
Portland State pulled out a 69-64 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday despite shooting just 39.6 percent from the floor and turning the ball over 18 times. The Vikings were able to grab the victory by playing solid defense in allowing the Eagles to connect on only 32.4 percent of their shots, while outscoring Eastern Washington 27-15 from the free-throw line.
The Vikings will not be out of their element in trying to handle a high- scoring offense as Portland State has had its share of offensive success this season. In fact, Portland Sate is scoring the second most points per game (76.5 ppg) in the conference, while shooting at the best percentage (.484). Like Northern Colorado the Vikings do struggle to get stops as they allow 73.4 points per game for just a +3.1 scoring differential. Leading the way for Portland State is Charles Odum who was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday. Odum (19.0 ppg) is the second highest scorer in the conference and was stellar in two wins a week ago including a career-high 38 points against Sacramento State, which he followed up with a 14-point effort against Eastern Washington. Odum is joined in double figures by Chehales Tapscott (13.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg), who is also the conference's leading rebounder.
Although Portland State doesn't need this win it will certainly want to end on a positive note for Senior Night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 75, Northern Colorado 70
02/28 10:49:41 ET