Washington St. Cougars vs. Portland St. Vikings Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 2nd 2023

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Myles Rice prefers to look ahead.

Considering what he’s been through, that is understandable.

The Washington State guard, whose team will play host to Portland State on Saturday afternoon in Pullman, Wash., missed last season while receiving chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“It’s like a chapter in a book,” Rice said, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. “You read Chapter 1, you go into Chapter 2, and you still remember Chapter 1 but you don’t go back and read it. You keep reading forward in the book.”

Rice is coming off a career-high 28 points in an 82-72 victory against visiting Eastern Washington on Monday in which he made his first six 3-point attempts.

Washington State coach Kyle Smith said he thinks Rice’s battle last season changed his perspective.

“He’s not wasting any time out there on the court,” Smith said.

Led by Rice’s 17.2 points per game on 53.5-percent shooting from the field – including 45.5 percent on 3-pointers – the Cougars (5-1 overall) have won three consecutive games.

WSU is 9-0 in the all-time series against Portland State.

The Vikings (6-1) are off to a strong start this season with victories at Air Force, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Baptist.

The Vikings are coming off a 75-74 victory against crosstown rival Portland on Tuesday, as Ismail Habib made a driving layup with 0.8 seconds remaining.

Portland State rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half. The Vikings took their first lead of the half on Habib’s 3-pointer with 59 seconds left. Habib scored a team-high 18 points.

Habib, a sophomore guard, also made a halfcourt shot to beat Cal Baptist 76-73 on Nov. 17.

In both cases, coach Jase Coburn let his players decide the game instead of calling a timeout.

“I was thinking our players are really good and they were going to make a play,” Coburn said of Habib’s latest winner. “Sometimes you have to let the players decide the game when you have really good ones, and I wasn’t going to get in their way. When I saw 6.6 seconds on the clock, I knew we had all the time in the world.

“It’s a good win for us, but we expected to win.”

–Field Level Media

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