ISU Men's Basketball
Undefeated No More! Bengals End Nation's Longest Winning Streak
Pocatello, ID-The Bengals men's basketball team took on arguably the hottest team in America Saturday night in Eastern Washington University, winners of their last 18 games and a perfect 16-0 in Big Sky Conference play...until tonight. The Bengals came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as they stormed to an early 11-point lead in the game. The Eagles kept their cool as they responded soundly, taking the lead late in the first half, however thanks to a Brock Mackenzie steal and Daxton Carr buzzer beater the Bengals went into the halftime break leading the Eagles by three, 39-36. The second half proved to be a defensive feat as both teams remained at a stalemate, tied at 56 for over five minutes including over 18 consecutive defensive stands. Idaho State was able to take a late six-point lead behind the free-throw making abilities of Brock Mackenzie and Maleek Arington, and closed the game out winning by eight in Pocatello, 71-63 to snap the nation's longest winning streak. After the win, the Bengals jump up to 11-19 on the season and 8-9 in conference play. The Eastern Washington University Eagles lose their first game of conference play and have their 18-game winning streak spoiled by your Idaho State Bengals as they will fall to 22-8 on the season and 16-1 in conference play, tasting defeat for the first time since December 17th.
Brock Mackenzie led the Bengals this evening as he finished with 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point land, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Maleek Arington came up huge for Idaho State off the bench tonight, totaling 10 points including going 7-of-10 from the stripe, four rebounds, and four steals. Jay Nagle contributed with four points, seven rebounds, and four assists and Brayden Parker put up four points, three rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. Kolby Lee also chipped in on the night as he tallied six points, two rebounds, two assists, and one block.
The Bengals finished the game shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from deep making 10 of thier 28 shots from three-point territory. The Bengals tallied 15 assists, 33 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 7 steals. Eastern Washington University finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from distance. The story of the game was turnovers. The Bengals caused Eastern Washington to commit 19 turnovers which resulted in 25 Idaho State points, whereas the Eagles could only cash in 10 total points caused by the 11 turnovers forced on the Bengals. Saturday's 63 points scored for the Eagles are their lowest since their 50-48 win at California on December 7th.
The Idaho State men's basketball team will have a short lived celebration for taking down the number one team in the conference as they will be traveling to Greeley, Colorado for a matchup Monday evening to play in their season finale against the University of Northern Colorado Bears on February 27th at 7 p.m.