Montana (14-6) at Portland State (10-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 29th, 4:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: Altitude. Home Record: Montana 9-2, Portland State 6-2. Away Record: Montana 5-3, Portland State 2-8. Neutral Record: Montana 0-0, Portland State 2-0. Conference Record: Montana 7-1, Portland State 4-4. Series Record: Montana leads, 28-20.
GAMES NOTES: Portland State will attempt to avenge a loss earlier in the season when the Vikings host Montana in a battle of Big Sky opponents from the Stott Center.
Montana posted a 75-64 victory at home against Portland State on December 28th which stretched its all-time series advantage to 28-20. It is the sixth straight win for the Grizzlies over the Vikings.
The win is part of a strong streak for Montana which has taken wins in nine of the last 10 games, including the last three. The lone loss came to the conference's top team, Weber State, as the Grizzlies are 7-1 in Big Sky action giving them sole possession of second place. Montana will be on the road against instate rival Montana State next time out.
Portland State had a three-game winning streak end against Montana State on Thursday. The loss puts the Vikings at 4-4 in league play which is tied for fourth in the conference with Idaho State. The Vikings will be on the road against Weber State to begin a three-game homestand in their next matchup.
Montana is not a particularly dangerous offensive team in scoring 69.1 points per game. However, thanks to strong defense that allows only 62.6 points per contest on 40.9 percent shooting, the team's scoring differential is a solid +6.9. In the last time out the Grizzlies downed Eastern Washington 74-60 and held the Eagles to just 34.o percent from the floor. Art Steward has put together a pair of nice games scoring 19 points in the win over Eastern Washington after a season-high 20 in the teams win over Sacramento State in the Grizzlies previous matchup. Steward is inching closer to a double figure scoring average now putting in 9.4 per game. Guards Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar are the two double digit scorers for the Grizzlies. Cherry is the leader at 14.9 per game while Jamar nets 13.2 per contest. Cherry had his lowest output during an eight-game streak in double figures by putting in 11 against Eastern Washington. Senior forward (7.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is the team's go-to frontcourt option.
Portland State has been a team that has no issue scoring this season with the conference's second highest mark at 76.8 points per game. The Vikings are an impressive shooting team knocking down 48.3 percent of its shots from the floor which is not only tops in the conference but 20th in the nation overall. The Vikings were a bit below it's normal offensive output in a 70-65 loss to Montana State in their last time out. It is only the second time in the last nine games the Vikings have been held below 78 points. Senior Charles Odum was yet again the leading scorer in the loss, putting in 15 points, just shy of his normal average of 18.2 points per game, which is second in the conference to the nation's leading scorer Damian Lillard of Weber State. Senior forward Chehales Tapscott is the second major contributor for the Vikings scoring 13.9 points per game and leading the team at 6.0 rebounds per game. Also averaging in double figures is sophomore guard Lateef McMullan, who adds 10.3 per game.
Montana would like to take this victory to keep pace with Weber State, which has yet to lose in conference play. Unfortunately with the home crowd behind it Portland State's offense should be in top gear and be able to knock off the Grizzlies.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 75, Montana 69
01/29 10:40:17 ET