As all the PSU fans know, the Stott Center floor was flooded after the sprinkler system was set off during a softball open gym (why they are allowed to use the main gym is beyond me). Therefore, wednesday night’s game will be played in an alternate venue nearby. Though the venue for this game is still unknown, the outcome will likely be unaffected. The Pioneers, who play in the Northwest Conference of NCAA Division III shouldn’t really present a challenge for the Vikings unless a disaster happens, like 3 of their starters get injured. So far this season, the Pioneers are 3-1 with their loss coming at the hands of Pacific in a 92-47 drubbing. With the change in venue, the Vikings may not duplicate that points spread, but it is easy to believe they could come close. The Vikings have an advantage at every position, but it isn’t as severe at the point, because the Pioneers have a talented senior from Benson Tech named Thomas Tillery running the show.
L&C: Garrett Waagmeester/Tyson Papenfuss PSU: Scott Morrison/Julius Thomas/JR Moore
Though he hasn’t played much, Lewis & Clark will probably have to resort to starting Waagmeester against Morrison. He is the team’s biggest player at only 6’7″ and 215 pounds. Morrison has taken advantage of these mismatches so far this season, and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t in this game. The other option they have used so far at this position is Tyson Papenfuss. At 6’5″ he’s another guy the Vikings can exploit down low. In the previous games against inferior opponents so far this season, Morrison has gone about 20 minutes with Julius Thomas and JR Moore filling the rest of the time. That trend should continue in this contest. Honestly, any of the 3 for the Vikings could probably score 10 points against the Pioneer front line if they really wanted to.
L&C: David Berggren PSU: Tyrell Mara/Kyle Coston
They are both 6’6″, but that’s about all they have in common. Mara is stronger, and a better overall player. After hitting a few 3 balls early, look for Mara to get a rest and give Coston a chance, which will create a match-up that’s a little more even. Coston’s been off and on this year, so this will provide him an opportunity for a little more confidence before the tough match-up with Washington State.
L&C: Joey Toboni PSU: Deonte Huff
Both players really like to shoot the ball. Depending on who can hit more shots, this could be a position where the production is almost equal. However, Huff’s ability to penetrate and create free throws gives him an edge, along with his ability to rebound over almost anyone. This is another game for highlight dunks, but fans may not see them dependent on the venue.
L&C: Gene Rivera PSU: Dupree Lucas/Andre Murray
Rivera is a role player offensively, but plays solid defense and creates some turnovers. This game is an opportunity for Lucas to get back on track. If he doesn’t he may lose his spot in the rotation to Murray, who had a very solid game at Utah Valley over the weekend.
L&C: Thomas Tillery PSU: Jeremiah Dominguez/Mickey Polis/Brian Curtis
Senior Thomas Tillery is one of the real strengths for the Pioneers. A scoring point guard, he will probably win a lot of games this year on his own. He may even draw Dominguez into foul trouble. If this occurs, it shouldn’t be an issue for the Vikings. Instead it will give Polis a chance to show off his jumper, and maybe Curtis to play a few minutes.
We should know the venue for the game by Wednesday morning, and hopefully it will be one that the Viking fans can get to so that they can create a home-like atmosphere.
Prediction: PSU 85-52