UC Riverside (6-20) at Portland State (7-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon.
Television: Big Sky TV. Home Record: UCR 5-7, PSU 7-4. Away Record: UCR 1-11,
PSU 0-12. Neutral Record: UCR 0-2, PSU 0-0. Conference Record: UCR 3-11, PSU
5-11. Series Record: Portland State leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Portland State Vikings look for their third win in a row as
they host the UC Riverside Highlanders for a non-conference duel at the Peter
W. Stott Center as part of the BracketBuster event.
UC Riverside is coming off of a 54-45 victory over UC Santa Barbara that
snapped a seven-game losing slide and improved it to a 6-20 overall record.
The Highlanders are still stuck at the bottom of the Big West Conference
standings with a 3-11 mark in league action. Chris Patton is pacing the team
with 12.7 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting from the field and Chris
Harriel chips in 10.7 ppg. Josh Fox is another solid forward for the
Highlanders with averages of 9.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per outing.
Although the Vikings are averaging 69.5 ppg on the season, they have been
lighting up the scoreboard well beyond their average over the past two games.
PSU completed a 90-69 rout of Southern Utah on Feb. 14 before outlasting
Eastern Washington for an 89-80 decision on Monday. The team had previously
picked up back-to-back wins on two separate occasions, but it was not able to
extend the streak to three either time. PSU enters Saturday with a 7-16
overall record that includes its 5-11 performance against Big Sky foes. Aaron
Moore (12.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Renado Parker (12.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg) are first and
second, respectively, in the Vikings' scoring and rebounding columns.
This will be the fourth meeting in history between these schools on the
hardwood. PSU holds a 2-1 all-time series edge after its 69-58 victory over
the Highlanders on Nov. 21, 2010 at the SMU Invitational.
The Highlanders went a combined 28-of-103 (27.2 percent) from the field in
their two games prior to squaring off with the Gauchos on Wednesday. They
turned it around against UCSB to connect on 41.6 percent of their field goal
tries, while adding 20 more points at the free-throw line. Harriel netted 14
points to lead the way while Taylor Johns got into the mix with 11 points.
Patton added 10 points for UC Riverside, which was coming off of a 75-35 loss
to Long Beach State. The low-scoring output against the 49ers marked the
fourth time this season that the Highlanders were held to 40 points or fewer.
Parker led a balanced effort that featured four Vikings in double figures with
20 points to help PSU down EWU its last time out. The Vikings managed to build
a 43-31 lead by the intermission as they drained 66 percent of their shots
from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Michael Harthun scored 18 points
while Moore tallied 17 points and eight boards. Gary Winston chimed in with 14
points as PSU kept its hopes of qualifying for the Big Sky Conference
PSU is playing inspired basketball right now as it tries to avoid an early
ending to its season. The Vikings will be looking to build some momentum
before returning to Big Sky action, but they will be challenged by the
Highlanders, who also appear to be headed in the right direction.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 76, UC Riverside 70
02/23 10:38:30 ET
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