Cedar City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Gary Winston posted a game-high 26 points as the Portland State Vikings held on to defeat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 86-79, in Big Sky Conference action at Centrum Arena.
Also scoring in double figures for the Vikings (12-12, 7-8 Big Sky) were Dashaun Wiggins and Andre Winston with 19 and 13 points, respectively, as the team snapped a four-game slide.
The Thunderbirds (1-23, 0-15), losers of a staggering 22 consecutive contests since opening the season with a win over Arizona Christian, were led by Casey Oliverson who registered a double-double consisting of 19 points and a game- high 10 rebounds, his scoring total matched by Trey Kennedy off the bench. John Marshall pitched in with 15 points, shooting 9-of-11 at the free-throw line.
Both programs made only nine field goals in the first half, but even with just 2-of-10 accuracy beyond the arc in the period, PSU was able to pull out to a 29-26 advantage at the break.
In the second half SUU actually led by three points at the 13:10 mark and shot an impressive 59.3 percent from the floor, but at the same time the Vikings were hitting on 54.8 percent from the field and 18-of-20 at the free-throw line to claim the win.
The game featured eight ties and 14 lead changes, with Portland State pulling out the victory by outscoring the hosts on the perimeter (21-6) and turning the ball over just six times.
The Thunderbirds are three days shy of going a full calendar year since capturing their last win over a Division I foe (Cal State Northridge) on Feb. 23, 2013. It has been even longer since the squad took down a league opponent, having last defeated a Big Sky member on Feb. 7, 2013 (Idaho State).