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Portland State (16-13) vs. Montana (17-12)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: Portland State 12-5, Montana 11-3. Away Record: Portland State 4-8, Montana 6-9. Neutral Record: Portland State 0-0, Montana 0-0. Conference Record: Portland State 11-9, Montana 12-8. Series Record: Montana leads, 32-21.

GAME NOTES: Having already played two epic contests this season, Portland State and Montana meet again tonight in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Big Sky Conference Tournament.

The fourth-seeded Grizzlies, the two-time defending Big Sky tourney champs, have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in the series, but the Vikings pulled out an 81-78 triple-overtime triumph on Jan. 11. Then, Montana returned the favor by winning at home in one OT, 82-76, on Feb. 6.

Montana, which is playing fifth-seeded Portland State for the first time ever in the tournament, may be looking forward to a possible rematch with Weber State in the title tilt, but that's still a couple of days away. The Grizzlies have beaten Weber State, this year's top seed, in the final each of the last two years.

The Grizzlies had won five in a row until falling at Northern Arizona, 67-47, last Saturday. Kareem Jamar finished with 15 points for the Grizzlies. Jamar (18.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), the MVP of the tourney each of the last two seasons, leads the way offensively for the Grizzlies. He needs just 11 points to pass Kevin Criswell (1,663, 2002-06) and move up to fourth place on Montana's all- time list. Jamar, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, also has 403 career assists, which ranks him fourth at Montana. Jordan Gregory (13.6 ppg) and Keron DeShields (12.0 ppg) are two other big contributors at the offensive end for the Grizzlies, who are trying to win this event for a record 10th time and fourth in the last five years. Forward Mike Weisner (8.1 ppg) is shooting 47.1 percent from 3-point range and is 94.4 percent accurate at the foul line.

The Vikings finished their regular season last Saturday with a 78-74 overtime victory at home against Idaho State. It was Portland State's third straight win and fifth in its last six games overall. Kyle Richardson had a career night with 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Vikings. Richardson made 14-of-19 shots from the field. Marcus Hall tallied 19 points and eight boards, Gary Winston scored 14 and dished out seven assists, and Andre Winston netted 11.

Portland State, which has two Big Sky tourney titles to its credit, the last coming in 2009, is led offensively by DaShaun Wiggins (12.7 ppg), although the junior guard comes off the bench. He is also tied for the team lead with 30 steals. Andre Winston (9.9 ppg) is shooting 52.7 percent from the field. Tim Douglas (12.3 ppg) has a team-leading 3.3 assists and is tied for the top spot in steals. Gary Winston (11.5 ppg) is shooting 44.3 percent from beyond the arc. Hall paces the squad with 46 3-point field goals. Richardson (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) had 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the Feb. 6 loss to the Grizzlies.

The Vikings were only 8-of-33 from 3-point range in their two games last week. The Grizzlies have certainly had plenty of success against the Vikings recently, and even tough this game is destined to be close, Montana simply has too many weapons for the Vikings to overcome.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana 72, Portland State 66

03/13 10:31:18 ET

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