By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
Two years ago, Eryn Jones went out of state to continue her college basketball career.
This week, the Lynnwood native and former Meadowdale High School star can’t wait to get back.
The sophomore guard and her Portland State University team learned Monday afternoon that they will be in Seattle this week as a No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Vikings (18-14) face No. 2 seed Texas A&M (25-7) at the University of Washington’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“Oh, my gosh,” Jones said Monday night, a few hours after hearing where her team was headed this week. “It is so exciting. I couldn’t ask for a better place to play. I’m so excited.”
Jones, who is third on the team in scoring (10.1 points per game) and second in assists (1.8 per game), will be a part of school history in that PSU has never played in the NCAA tournament. The Vikings earned their way into the field by winning the Big Sky Conference tournament over the weekend, with Jones being named as one of the five members of the all-tournament team.
“It’s amazing,” Jones said of being a part of PSU history. “I don’t think it’s hit me yet. It’s pretty unreal.”
Jones is not the only Snohomish County player on Portland State’s roster. Snohomish High School product Karley Lampman has played in 24 games this season and averages 2.0 points per outing. Lampman’s only appearance in the Vikings’ last four games came when she played three scoreless minutes in last week’s Big Sky semifinal win over Montana.
Portland State’s top player is senior Claire Faucher, a guard from Yakima’s Eisenhower High School.
Also in Seattle this weekend will be Gonzaga, a No. 7 seed that will play North Carolina in Saturday’s late game. The winner of that game will face the winner of the PSU-Texas A&M game at Hec Ed on Monday as part of the NCAA tournament’s Stanford Regional.
The Bulldogs (27-4) are led by Spokane native Heather Bowman and also feature UW transfer Katelan Redmon.