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Portland State (11-12) at Southern Utah (1-22)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Centrum Arena (5,300) -- Cedar City, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: PSU 10-5, SUU 1-8. Away Record: PSU 1-7, SUU 0-14. Neutral Record: PSU 0-0, SUU 0-0. Conference Record: PSU 6-8, SUU 0-14. Series Record: Portland State leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: Opportunities to break through in conference play continue to dwindle for Southern Utah, as the Thunderbirds now turn their attention to fellow Big Sky Conference member Portland State tonight at Centrum Arena.

Since defeating Arizona Christian in the season opener, the Thunderbirds have fallen off the map with a staggering 22-game slide. The team last took the floor on Saturday and, for a time, appeared to be gaining some confidence against Idaho State, but eventually suffered the 75-65 home loss.

At this point, the Thunderbirds are three days shy of going a full calendar year since capturing their last win over a Division I foe (Cal State Northridge) on Feb. 23, 2013. It has been even longer since the squad took down a league opponent, having last defeated a Big Sky member on Feb. 7, 2013 (Idaho State).

While SUU sits all alone at the bottom of the conference standings, the Vikings are 6-8 in league play, but that has them ahead of only the Thunderbirds in the Big Sky. Portland State, which is kicking off a four-game road trip tonight, has fallen in four straight decisions, the most recent being a 72-65 final versus Sacramento State last Saturday at home.

PSU owns a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series, posting a 67-64 win at home last month.

The Portland State defense allowed the Hornets to shoot a season-high 61.7 percent from the floor over the weekend, more than enough to send the Vikings to the loss column. Andre Winston stepped up and posted 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field for the hosts, followed by Gary Winston and Tim Douglas with 10 points apiece, but the squad squandered 53.7 percent accuracy from the floor.

Douglas is the leading scorer at the moment for the Vikings with his 13.1 ppg, but he has converted just 38.4 percent of his field goal chances and is only 33.3 percent accurate behind the 3-point line. However, it is important to have Douglas on the floor as much as possible because he also paces the program in assists (84) through 23 starts. Because of his efforts, PSU is producing a solid 72.0 ppg, but at the same time giving up 71.4 ppg which doesn't leave much room for error.

Southern Utah led by a point at the break versus the Bengals and was up by three a few minutes into the second half, but the defense failed to hold off the visitors and in fact allowed ISU to rip off an 11-0 scoring run late to claim the decision. A.J. Hess was able to deliver 14 points, shooting a decent 5-of-12 from the floor, but six of his misses came on seven attempts beyond the arc. Jaren Jeffery and Race Parson pitched in with 12 points apiece in the setback as well.

Unfortunately, the Thunderbirds are getting too much attention for the wrong reasons this season, one of those being the massive negative scoring margin which currently measure minus-17.0 ppg. The program doesn't have a single player scoring in double figures through 23 games, which isn't all that surprising given how much SUU has suffered, but Trey Kennedy (9.3 ppg) and Hess are still doing what they can to change all that.

Coming close last weekend should have given the Thunderbirds reason to believe a breakthrough could be around the corner. Given that Portland State is just above SUU in the standings means the hosts should have a fighting chance yet again tonight, but don't get your hopes up.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 73, Southern Utah 66

02/20 10:20:03 ET

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7:00pm Tonight
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Final
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Final
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7:30pm Tonight
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7:30pm Tonight
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Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
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EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
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CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
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Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
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Final
LOU 45
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UCF 69
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DELST 76
 
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ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
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GWU 91
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WAKE 83
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Final
NAVY 67
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Final
NCSU 84
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Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
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JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
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YOUNG 66
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UAB 43
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WVU 103
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TCU 74
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LMU 66
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SCAR 89
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MONT 75
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SUTAH 64
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NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
Final
EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
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IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
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UF 65
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GONZ 88
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NIOWA 61
NW 42
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CAL 72
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UCD 77
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NDAK 75
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CSNO 55
PORST 63
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AKAN 62
PAC 71
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OKST 73
TULSA 58
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COLST 76
MIZST 61
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12:00pm Today
RMU
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1:00pm Today
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2:00pm Today
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2:00pm Today
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2:30pm Today
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TAM 4
NYR 3
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DET 5
PHI 2
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
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SJS 0
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8:00pm Tonight
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