West Virginia capitalizes on the Vikings’ mistakes and wins 89-71

Portland, OR – Another hot-shooting opponent and poor ball handling in the first half were a bad combination for the Portland State Vikings as they lost 89-71 to West Virginia in the consolation round of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament at the Moda Center.

The loss was the second in a row for the Vikings, dropping them to 2-4 overall. Her last win was at Oregon State last Saturday. Ironically, the Vikings meet Oregon State again in Sunday’s PKL seventh-place game at the Chiles Center.

Point Guard Cameron Parker led the Vikings with 19 points, including 13-13 free throws. He added three rebounds and three assists. Forward hunters forest had 12 points, five rebounds and three steals in his role off the bench.

The Vikings shot just .383 from field but got to the foul line 38 times and made 30 (.789). West Virginia shot .656 from field in the first half and .608 in game overall.

Perhaps the biggest statistic for the Vikings was turnover. PSU entered the game as a quiet team, averaging just 12 turnovers per game. But that had 24 giveaways in this contest and the Mountaineers were able to convert that into 32 points.

“We turned the ball 24 times. Against a team like West Virginia we can’t turn it 16 times in one half. And we’ve been good at that all year,” Viking Coach said Jase Coburn. “We received a lot of toll calls tonight and ran over a few people. We just had to play with a little more composure.

“Not only were we turning the ball over, they were live ball turnovers and they were able to convert them.”

West Virginia opened the game by shooting like Gonzaga, the Vikings’ opponent from the night before. The Mountaineers made 12 of their first 15 shots and went up 28-15 by the middle of the first half. By now the Vikings had only fired 5-15 shots.

The Mountaineers built a 33-19 lead before the Vikings ran away seven times in a row. Woods made a driving lay-in, then a three-pointer and PSU was only 33-26, 6-14 at the half. West Virginia came right back with a 10-1 run.

Despite West Virginia’s good shot quality, the Vikings’ biggest demon of the first half was turnover. PSU had 16 errors. Many of those came late in the half when the Mountaineers converted them to 23 points. Combined with a 19:29 shooting performance, West Virginia went into the dressing room with a 53:36 lead.

West Virginia extended their lead to 57-36 in the first minute of the second half. However, the Vikings retired within 60-50 with 13:02 to play.

“It’s two nights in a row, we didn’t play well in the first half, then we really reacted and dug in. So I’m proud of the lads that they kept fighting,” said Coburn.

PSU failed to maintain the run and West Virginia gradually increased their lead back to the 20-point mark.

With the win, the Mountaineers of the Big 12 Conference went up 5-1 on the season. They will play Florida in a fifth-place game on Sunday.

Tre Mitchell led six West Virginia scorers by double digits with 16 points.

GAME NOTES:

  • PSU won the rebound fight 30-27.
  • Portland State plays Oregon State in the seventh-place game at Chiles Center on Sunday. The start time is 8:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
  • The Vikings defeated Oregon State 79-66 on November 19 in Corvallis. This is the first time in history that the teams will play twice in the same season.

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