Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
Djim Bandoumel
Vandals to battle Vikings
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 02/16/2012
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Game 27: Idaho (15-11) vs. Portland State (13-12)
When: February 18, 2012 (7:05 p.m. PT)
Where: Moscow, Idaho (Cowan Spectrum)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra
Television: None
Online Video: VandalXtra
Live Stats:

A Look at the Vikings
Portland State comes into the weekend at 13-12 overall after an impressive 85-67 victory over Sacramento State in which PSU shot 65.2 percent as a team. The Vikings have won three in a row overall and four of their last five road games. PSU shoots 48.8 percent from the floor and averages 76.4 points per game while allowing 73.0 on .453 shooting. Senior guard Charles Odum leads the team with 18.5 points per game on 53.6 percent shooting, while senior forward Chehales Tapscott adds 14.0 points and team-highs of 9.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Four Vikings have at least 40 assists this season, led by Lateef McMullan’s 67.

Portland State Head Coach Tyler Geving
Tyler Geving is in his third season as head coach at Portland State. He holds a 40-47 coaching record with the Vikings. Before taking over the Viking program, Geving was a PSU assistant for four seasons in addition to three seasons as an assistant at Seattle University, one season as co-head coach at Edmonds Community College and stops at Central Washington and Highline Community College. He is a 1996 graduate of Central Washington.

Vandals and  Vikings
Despite their close regional proximity, Idaho and Portland State have played just 18 times and only twice since 1980. PSU holds a 10-8 edge in a series defined more by blowouts than close games. Seven games between the two teams have been decided by more than 20 points and 12 by double-figure margins. Only twice have games between the Vandals and Vikings been decided by fewer than five points. PSU won the last meeting in Moscow, 61-59, on Dec. 10, 2005.

High Rate of Return
Saturday’s game will feature two of the nation’s most efficient offenses. Idaho leads the WAC and ranks 26th nationally with a .478 team field goal percentage. Portland State enters the weekend shooting .488 from the floor, which leads the Big Sky and rates 13th in the NCAA. PSU shoots just 33.3 percent from 3-point range, but makes an impressive 55.1 percent of its two-point attempts. The Vikings are the first NCAA D-I opponent  for the Vandals this season that enters a game with a higher team field goal percentage than Idaho’s.

Vandals in the BracketBusters
Saturday is Idaho’s eighth game in the Sears BracketBusters series. The Vandals are 3-4 all-time in such games and are 1-2 in those games played at Moscow, Idaho. The Vandals beat Montana State, 65-50, last season at Bozeman, Mont. Idaho’s last time hosting a BracketBusters opponent was a 77-66 loss to Long Beach State on Feb. 20, 2010.
Idaho BracketBusters Results:
2/21/04: W, 70-65, vs. UC Riverside
2/18/06: L, 69-79, at Montana State
2/17/07: L, 76-81, vs. UC Riverside
2/23/08: L, 55-69, at UC Irvine
2/21/09: W, 78-75, at Cal State Northridge
2/20/10: L, 66-77, vs. Long Beach State
2/19/11: W, 65-50, at Montana State

Readers as Leaders
Saturday’s game is the Readers as Leaders program finale. The local elementary school reading program, sponsored by Pickart Orthodontics, has expanded from 800 students in its first year in 2009 to more than 2200 this year. Students who reach their personalized reading goals are awarded a t-shirt that gives them free admission to Idaho basketball games. A halftime ceremony will honor all who have achieved their reading goals, and there will also be recognition for those who achieved Silver and Gold reading levels. There will also be a drawing at halftime for one student to win a laptop.

Going Out as Winners
Idaho is 3-0 in Senior Night games under Don Verlin. Before Verlin, Idaho had lost nine consecutive Senior Day matchups. Idaho beat Fresno State, 59-56, in 2009 and took down Hawai`i, 78-69, in 2010. The Vandals beat Seattle, 78-69, to send Travis Blackstock, Shawn Henderson, Jeff Ledbetter and Brandon Wiley out with a win in their final home game at Idaho last year.

Click on the PDF link above to view complete game notes.

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