Seattle Storm controls Minnesota Lynx, 97-74

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Soft ball

Emily Johansen received the Big Sky Player of the Week award after her superb performance against Idaho State last series. She went five-for-nine (.556) with eight RBIs and four homers. She finished the series with a .714 on-base percentage and 1.889 hitting percentage.

The Viks had a rain delay Friday and planned to host their final series of the regular season against Weber State University the following day, Saturday. The series ended up being watered down and canceled, but the Viks still recognized their Class of 2020 seniors whose season was cut short due to COVID-19 for Senior Day. The recognized seniors were Darian Lindsey, Riley Casper, Ashley Doyle, Alexis Morrison, Jessica Flanagan and Alexxis Ponce.

The Viks finished their regular season 26-16 (10-5) and Weber State finished theirs 35-10 (13-1). The Viks are now awaiting the Big Sky tournament. The Arizona Wildcats will host Ogden, Utah due to the regular season win for the second straight year.

Portland State currently sits third in the Big Sky rankings, behind Weber State and Sacramento State. The Viks won the tournament last year and clinched a ticket to the NCAA playoffs in which they faced the University of Washington and Seattle University.

women’s basketball

Former student Ashley Bolton returned to the Park Blocks as an assistant coach, under head coach Chelsey Gregg. Bolton was Big Sky’s 2019 MVP, averaging 14.3 points per game and eight rebounds per game. During her career, Bolton was a three-time All-Big Sky second-team selection as well as captain for all three seasons and an All-Big Sky academic winner for three consecutive years.

In the 2019 campaign, when Bolton was an athlete, the Viks won the Big Sky Tournament and were the 15th seed in the NCAA Tournament, falling to the state’s No. 2 rival Oregon Ducks. She helped lead the Viks to their first Division I tournament appearance since 2010. Other than their tournaments in their time at D-II, PSU had not qualified for the tournament until 2010. The Viks during their run of 2021 finished the season 5-24 (0-20).

men’s basketball

To add to their collection of recent signings, the Viks add transfer Jorell Saterfield from the University of Texas, El Paso. This 6’4” guard will enter as a junior with two additional years of eligibility due to the COVID-19 waiver.

Another recent signing is Alabama high school star MJ Jones. He was Shelby County, Tennessee’s Player of the Year, averaging 24 points per game. He scored 2,000 career points in his senior year and is looking forward to leading the Viks to win the Big Sky Tournament and advance to the NCAA playoffs.

The Viks finished the season 14-17 (10-10) and had an impressive run in the Big Sky Tournament, beating top-seeded Idaho State and Southern Utah before ultimately falling against Northern Colorado in a coin toss match. Other notable signings for the 2022-23 season are Portland native and Montana transfer Cameron Parker, as well as Hunter Woods, Keshaun Saunders, Isiah Kirby, Cole Farrell, Bobby Harvey and Kendall Munson.

Seattle Storm

The Seattle Storm played their first-ever home game at the new Climate Pledge Arena in the heart of downtown Seattle. They hosted the Minnesota Lynx, starting the season on the right foot with a 97-74 win. Not only did the Storm start 1-0, but they were 1-0 up in the Commissioners Cup and looking to defend their title.

Breanna Stewart – entering her seventh season – and Jewell Loyd showed up, both dropping 17 points to the Lynx. Stewart had eight rebounds and three assists. Loyd had three rebounds and two assists. Sue Bird, in her 550th career start with the Storm, lost 11 points, with two rebounds and nine assists. Stéphanie Talbot also had 11 points, with two rebounds and three assists. Epiphany Prince had 13 points with three assists. Gabby Williams, who was previously with the Chicago Sky, had five points with three rebounds and an assist.

The Storm started slow, dropping two points in the first quarter and tying 41 at halftime. 34 points were scored by Seattle in the third quarter to extend the lead and secure a win. Despite the double-digit loss, Sylvia Fowles and Aerial Powers of the Lynx both had double-digit points with 16 and 14. Jessica Shepard nearly scored a double-double, picking up nine points and 12 rebounds. Seattle finished third in the West in its 2021 season at 21-11, losing to Phoenix in the second round. The Storm will return to Climate Pledge on May 14 to take on Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury.

Syvia Fowles blocks Ezi Magbegor’s shot. Eric Shelby/PSU Vanguard
Breanna Stewart and Ezi Magbegor babysitting Jessica Shepard. Eric Shelby/PSU Vanguard
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