Portland, OR – After spending a year on the road at Lewis & Clark as their home court for the 2017-18 season, Portland State was had an extra bounce to its step as they opened the season in their new arena “The Peter W. Stott Center”. In a showdown between Big West and Big Sky Conferences the Vikings prevailed over UC Riverside 71-64.
The Vikings prevailed in this game with its multiple defensive schemes both full and half court traps which produced 30 points off turnovers, 42 points in the paint, and 14 second chance points. The Highlanders didn’t help their road chances as they turned the ball over 24 times. Despite the turnovers the Highlanders kept it close all the way to the final horn as the game produced eleven lead changes.
The most consistent player all evening for Portland State in just 23 minutes of play was 6-0 senior guard Derek Brown who had 12 points (4-7 FG), six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Brown’s energy, hustle plays, strong drives to the basket, and his all around competitive play helped lead the Vikings in every aspect of the game. Brown, a physically built combo guard who is very quick, explosive, athletic, and has a burst of speed when needs to change gears, played very hard on both ends of the floor, and defensively covered full court man-to-man well. The right handed shooter is more of a slasher with nice bounce off the floor on 12-15 feet pull ups. He has good character, mental toughness and a winning attitude.
For UC Riverside, 6-5 sophomore guard Jordan Gilliam showed flashes that will keep him on the radar for the next two-three years. Gilliam had 11-points and eight assists to go along with several deflections as he played the passing lanes well with his good lateral footwork, length, and athleticism. The Highlanders appear to have Gilliam learning and developing at his new point guard position. He had his hands directly involved with over half of the team buckets. A potential “Double-Double” player down the road, he looked uncomfortable at times in his new role as he committed seven turnovers, a majority of those coming against the Vikings traps. He has decent vision as he distributed and made solid decisions with the ball once he broke down the defense off the dribble and got into the paint. The slender guard will need to get stronger also over the next few seasons to add to his slight frame. He has a nice mid range floater/tear drop shot.
- Lead: Portland State 21:50
- Points off T/O: Portland State 30 – UC Riverside 10
- Points in Paint: Portland State 42 – UC Riverside 22
- 2ND Chance Points: Portland State 14 – UC Riverside 6
The Willamette Bearcats (0-1) visit Portland State (1-1) this Saturday night. UC Riverside (0-2) hosts the UNLV Rebels (0-1) on Tuesday.
This article was written by Lorenzo Leaks, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.