BOISE — Portland State is dancing.
The Vikings, who entered the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball tournament as the No. 4 seed, earned a thrilling 61-59 win over sixth-seeded Eastern Washington in the championship game at Century Link Arena on Friday.
Desirae Hansen hit the go-ahead jumper with 3.1 seconds left to break a 59-all tie and ultimately send Portland State to the NCAA Tournament.
Portland State with the potential game-winner with 2.9 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/CzUlSwQ9Na
— Slim Kimmel (@SlimKimmel) March 15, 2019
Hansen had just four points in the game, but four Vikings scored in double figures: Ashley Bolston with 16, Courtney West had 11, and Sidney Rielly and Jordan Stotler each had 10. Alissa Sealby had 15 points to lead Eastern Washington, which got a clean look at the basket at the buzzer to force overtime, but the shot caromed off the rim and Portland State started its celebration.
In that celebration was assistant coach Keithan Gregg, a Cut Bank native who played college basketball at the University of Great Falls (now Providence). Gregg was also a four-time state tennis champion while at Cut Bank High School in the early 2000s and originally played college tennis at Eastern Washington. He transferred back to UGF to play basketball, where he had a stellar career. Gregg owns the program records for single-game and single-season assists and ranks second in career assists and career steals.
Gregg is in his second season as an assistant coach with the PSU women’s program and serves as the team’s defensive coordinator, according to the team website.
On Friday, the Vikings’ defense clamped down in the fourth quarter to help secure the win over Eastern Washington. The Eagles held a seven-point lead with 5:35 to go, but the Vikings went on a 9-0 run to take the lead, holding EWU scoreless for more than five minutes of game action.
Eastern Washington tied the game at 59-all with 20 seconds to go, setting up Hansen’s heroics.
Portland State (25-7) will learn its NCAA opponent during Monday’s selection show.