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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 10:35 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: NAU 3-3. Portland State 4-2. Away Record: NAU 1-6, Portland State 0-6. Neutral Record: NAU 1-1, Portland State 0-0. Conference Record: NAU 2-3, Portland State 2-3. Series Record: Northern Arizona leads, 19-15.
GAMES NOTES: In the second leg of a four-game road trip, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks will take on the Portland State Vikings in a Big Sky Conference tilt at the Stott Center.
In the first game of the trip, Northern Arizona was routed 82-59 by Eastern Washington. The loss was the fifth in the last six games for the Lumberjacks who have fallen to just 5-10 overall. The setback was also the sixth in seven tries for Northern Arizona on the road.
Portland State ended a three-game losing streak on Thursday with an 87-69 victory over Sacramento State. Even with the win the Vikings are still struggling this season with a 4-8 mark overall. Portland State has managed to play better at home where it has collected all four of its wins.
A year ago Portland State swept the season series after Northern Arizona had won four straight. The Lumberjacks lead the all-time series, 19-15.
Northern Arizona shot just 34.9 percent against Eastern WAshington and was outscored 24-12 from beyond the arc in the 23-point loss. The Lumberjacks were also the victim of a 49-37 disparity on the boards.
There hasn't been a whole lot of defensive pressure coming form Northern Arizona this season. The Lumberjacks are allowing teams to score 77.3 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting. On the other end Northern Arizona has failed to keep up, shooting just 40.9 percent and netting 65.6 points per game. The backcourt duo of Dewayne Russell (16.6 ppg) and Gabe Rogers (14.3 ppg) has been the only positive force offensively. After them, only Max Jacobsen (8.3 ppg) scores more than six points per game.
Portland State had a much more successful night against Sacramento State on Thursday. The Vikings hit on 56.1 percent of their shots from the floor including 12-of-18 from beyond the arc. It was in the second half that Portland State had the bulk of its success, hitting 8-of-9 shots from long distance and 65.4 percent overall.
Balance has been the theme for Portland State offensively as four different players are scoring in double figures but none more than Renado Parker (11.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg), who also ranks second in rebounds. Aaron Moore (10.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is the top man on the glass, while Michael Harthun (10.9 ppg) and Lateef McMullan (10.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) have run the show out of the backcourt. The Vikings are also struggling to get stops on defense this season as they let up 69.5 points per game on an 48.1 percent shooting. On the offensive end the Vikings score 67.7 points per game on 46 percent shooting.
When Northern Arizona has traveled this season the results have not been stellar. Portland State certainly isn't one of the top teams in the conference but should be able to handle the Lumberjacks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 67, Northern Arizona 65
01/12 10:32:15 ET
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