Portland State goes on the road for the final time in 2015 this week as it tries to stop a pesky four-game losing streak. The Vikings will take a 3-6 record to CSU Bakersfield for a Tuesday night game. The Roadrunners, members of the Western Athletic Conference, have had a solid start to the season with a 7-4 record.
PSU’s losing skid has included two home games and two road games. Three of the four have been tight contests, including the last two which the Vikings have led at halftime. Portland State has been hindered alternately by either poor shooting or ball-handling mistakes.
The Vikings had a 40-36 halftime lead over CSUN on Thursday night after shooting 64% in the first half. But a 28% shooting second-half spelled their doom in a 77-71 loss to the Matadors. Positive signs included a career-high 21 points from JR GCalaen Robinson on seven three-pointers, and the return of JR G Bryce White (10 points, 5 assists) from injury.
CSU Bakersfield has seen good times in recent weeks, winning four of its last five games. The Roadrunners are 6-0 at home this season. Portland State and CSU Bakersfield have not had any common opponents this season.
Tuesday’s game is a 7 p.m. tip. Live video, audio and stats can be found at GoViks.com by clicking on the Game Day box.
Portland State hosts one more non-conference game on Dec. 29. Cal State Fullerton (currently 7-3) of the Big West Conference comes to the Stott Center.
Big Sky Conference play begins on Jan. 2 when the Vikings host Sacramento State at the Stott Center. After that, the Vikings will play five of their next seven games during the month of January on the road.
GAME NOTES: PORTLAND STATE vs. CSU BAKERSFIELD
• ALL-TIME SERIES: Portland State leads the short history between these two schools, 2-1. PSU lost the first meeting at CSU Bakersfield in 2010, but has won the last two at the Stott Center in 2011 and 2014.
• LAST SEASON: PSU 65, CSUB 59: Portland State jumped to an early 17-3 lead and never trailed in the game. The Vikings held CSU Bakersfield to only 18-60 from the field (30%), blocking eight shots and forcing 15 turnovers. Collin Spickermanblocked six shots for the Vikings while Braxton Tucker led four players in double figures with 18 points. Aly Ahmed had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Roadrunners.
• COACHES: Vikings Coach Tyler Geving (87-105, 7th season) is 2-1 all-time against CSU Bakersfield. Roadrunners Head Coach Rod Barnes (64-73, 5th season) is 1-2 against Portland State. Barnes is 250-262 all-time as a collegiate head coach.
• VIKINGS VS. THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Portland State is 16-11 all-time against current members of the Western Athletic Conference. The Vikings have one loss (82-72 at Grand Canyon) and one win (79-61 at UTRGV) against WAC opponents this year. Head Coach Tyler Geving is 3-5 all-time against current members of the WAC.
CSU BAKERSFIELD ROADRUNNERS
• CSU Bakersfield was 14-19 last season, 7-7 and fifth in the Western Athletic Conference.
• The Roadrunners have started well this year with a 7-4 record. They are 6-0 at home.
• CSUB is an average shooting team at .448 from the field, .337 from three-point range and .652 at the free throw line. But, the Roadrunners have gotten the job done with defense, holding opponents to 65.5 points, .420 shooting, and forcing 16.2 turnovers per game. They also out-rebound opponents by 5.2 per game.
• Sixth-man Damiyne Durham leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He has made 36 three-pointers on the season.
• Kevin Mays averages 13.5 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game. Center Aly Ahmed averages 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. Brent Wrapp dishes out a team-high 4.4 assists per game.