Portland State (7-7) at Northern Arizona (7-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Walkup Skydome (7,300) -- Flagstaff, Arizona.
Television: FSN-AZ, FCS. Home Record: PSU 6-3, NAU 4-1. Away Record: PSU 1-4,
NAU 3-6. Neutral Record: PSU 0-0, NAU 0-2. Conference Record: PSU 2-3, NAU
4-1. Series Record: Portland State leads, 22-18.
GAME NOTES: Tied for the top spot in the Big Sky Conference standings heading
into the weekend, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks settle in to face off
against the Portland State Vikings at Walkup Skydome.
The Lumberjacks currently sport a record of 4-1 in league play, matching the
effort set by both Northern Colorado and Montana State, thanks to an 84-65
blowout victory over Eastern Washington on Thursday night. The win was the
third in a row and the fourth in the last five outings for an NAU team which
is still two games under .500 on the season overall.
Meanwhile, Portland State is one of several teams in the bottom half of the
conference that is 2-3 after five bouts. However, two nights ago the squad
snapped a 20-game road losing streak by picking up a 68-64 overtime triumph
versus Sacramento State. The Vikings have now won back-to-back games for the
first time since late November.
Portland State may own a 22-18 advantage in the all-time series, but in games
played in Flagstaff the advantage swings to the 'Jacks who have won 11 of the
18 meetings played.
The Vikings made just one of their nine 3-point tries in the first half and
finished regulation 4-of-16 out on the perimeter, but still they made it to
overtime against Sacramento State and used the opportunity to capture a four-
point road win. Tim Douglas was the high man with 13 points, while Kyle
Richardson delivered career-highs of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Winston
pitched in with 12 points and six of the unit's 14 assists.
On a team that is scoring 73.0 ppg, Douglas leads the way with his 15.1 ppg,
but his accuracy from the floor is now down to only 38.7 percent. Douglas is
also first on the squad with 54 assists and 17 steals, not to mention coming
down with 3.3 rpg as well. DaShaun Wiggins, primarily a backup who is playing
less than 23 minutes per contest, is now second in scoring with 12.8 ppg, but
the team is still without Aaron Moore (11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) who has been dealing
with disciplinary issues.
Averaging almost six 3-pointers per game, the Lumberjacks are getting the
majority of that production from two sources in Upshur and Aaseem Dixon, who
have combined to make 70 of the unit's 95 triples through 16 games. Thanks to
his efforts out on the perimeter, Upshur is first on the team in scoring with
14.8 ppg, while Dixon checks in with 13.4 ppg. In between the two is Jacobsen
with his 13.8 ppg, having shot the ball almost as well from the field (.588)
as he has at the free-throw line (.630).
Granted, the Lumberjacks scored 84 points two nights ago, but it was the
defense that put them in a position for a lopsided victory as they limited
Eastern Washington to just 30.4 percent shooting from the field, including 4-
of-23 (.174) behind the 3-point line. Quinton Upshur scored a game-high 26
points, Ako Kaluna and Aaseem Dixon pitched in with 15 apiece, and Max
Jacobsen tallied 10 points for the hosts.
The Lumberjacks are getting on track at just the right time, and as long as
Portland State continues to struggle on the road then this is a game that
should fall in favor of the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Arizona 71, Portland State 65
01/18 10:24:43 ET
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