Since the Mid-Majority has made it halfway to its goal of 800 games since my last recap, and since the Idaho State at Portland State game was to have been the halfway point of my season before I added a few games (more on that later) I thought I would take some time after my recap for some halftime observations.
First, though, the Vikings had a game against Idaho State. As both teams were 2-3 in the Big Sky and tied for the sixth and final conference tournament berth this would be a key game in both teams' seasons. Idaho State built a 10-point lead over the first 12 minutes, leading 20-10. Guard Kenny McGowan was able to drive to the basket and hit some outside shots while the Vikings had trouble on offense. Portland State began to climb back once guys like Chehales Tapscott and Lateef McMullen began making shots. PSU would eventually tie it with Charles Odum's four point play with less than a second remaining in the first half. ISU would get out to another lead in the second but their lack of a big man who could score was one of the differences in the game. ISU guards McGowan and Grabau had 20 and 18 points respectively but were the only Bengals in double figures. Meanwhile for PSU Tapscott finished with 15 and guard Odum backed up his Big Sky Player of the Week award with a 29-point performance. The final stats were dominated by the Vikings: they had more rebounds, more blocks, more steals, and fewer turnovers. Coach Tyler Geving must have been pleased they were able to overcome a slow start to record a 12-point, 80-68 win that solidified their position in the conference standings.
With conference seasons in full swing and the new year and semesters having started I wanted to share a few observations from about the halfway point of the season. The first actually came at halftime of this game. I walked into the men's room at the Stott Center and saw one of the officials in there. As in, one of the guys with the striped shirts and whistles. Right next to a bunch of fans. As I said on Twitter at the time, you don't see this above the Red Line. But, the Stott Center wasn't built with Division I sports in mind, and when you gotta go...
Also, I've noticed in recent weeks a trend in the recaps: food. I think this started just before I wrote about the pregame pasta at Portland Pilots games but I've noticed more and more of it. I'd like to visit some of these other schools just to try the food. I loved the pasta at the Chiles Center but the barbecue at Delaware (http://www.midmajority.com/p/2464) looks even more appetizing. I also like the look of the pizza at Frank Pepe's (http://www.midmajority.com/p/2458). I have to admit, though, that I have had a pregame convenience store "dinner of champions" more than once when I was rushing to get to the game on time ( http://www.midmajority.com/p/2453). One of the resources that's not lacking below the Red Line is good places to eat at and around the game.
I've also thought about how the 800 Games Project has inspired me to try some new things. First, of course, is the fact that I'm actually writing about the games I go to in a place that's a lot more public than the Pilot message board. I had planned on going to all the Pilot home games and a few Portland State games as I do every season. Until I read recaps here about going on the road to see games I hadn't really thought about traveling. A few weeks into the season, though, I wanted to travel to some other arenas and write about what it's like to go to games at places like Oregon and Oregon State. I think the highlight of my season so far was the Sunday I went to a Duck game in Eugene, then went to Corvallis to see Oregon State and Portland State. Four days later I was on my way back to Eugene to recap two more games. Last year I thought that would have been crazy. This season I still think it's a little insane but then, this site came about because of a guy with an idea that seemed crazy. It's only fitting that some of its readers wouldn't think that was so crazy at all, and want to be a little like him.
at PORTLAND STATE 80, IDAHO STATE 68 01/16/2012
IDAHO STATE 4-14 (2-4) -- C. Grabau 8-11 0-0 18; A. Moreira 4-6 1-1 9; K. McGowen 6-15 6-7 20; M. Morgan 3-9 1-2 7; A. Hatchett 2-7 3-4 7; S. Baldwin 2-4 0-0 5; D. Kostur 0-1 0-0 0; G. Swanson 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 26-57 11-14 68. PORTLAND STATE 9-9 (3-3) -- C. Tapscott 4-8 7-9 15; C. Odum 10-18 6-7 29; R. Parker 3-5 4-4 10; M. Harthun 2-4 2-2 6; L. McMullan 2-5 5-8 10; G. Winston 1-4 2-2 5; M. Whitmore 0-1 3-4 3; N. Lozeau 1-4 0-0 2; M. Harvey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 29-36 80.
Three-point goals: IDST 5-16 (S. Baldwin 1-1; C. Grabau 2-4; A. Hatchett 0-1; K. McGowen 2-7; M. Morgan 0-3), POST 5-14 (M. Harthun 0-2; L. McMullan 1-3; C. Odum 3-5; G. Winston 1-3; M. Whitmore 0-1); Rebounds: IDST 26 (A. Moreira 10), POST 27 (N. Lozeau 7); Assists: IDST 14 (C. Grabau 4), POST 7 (M. Harthun 3); Total Fouls -- IDST 27, POST 18; Fouled Out: IDST-M. Morgan; POST-L. McMullan.