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ISU Men's Basketball

Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 12/30/2023 9:17:00 PM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 12/30/2023 9:17:00 PM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Parker Reaches 1,000 Point Milestone in Bengals 76-68 Loss to Montana

POCATELLO, Idaho –The Bengals men's basketball squad was searching for their first win since December 2nd tonight, hosting the Montana Grizzlies who came into the game downing the Bengals in their last 3 meetings in a row, as well as 25 of their last 26 matchups.

The Bengals and Griz came out playing physical basketball, pounding the paint, and finding the open man for easy jumpers. Idaho State took an early 7-6 lead at the 15:56 mark in the first half, thanks to a Kiree Huie hook shot, but the Grizzlies would then go on a 10-2 run over the next 5:38 to take the largest lead of the first half for either team, 16-9. ISU would respond, going on their own 7-0 run to tie the game at 16 all. Brayden Parker would lead the Bengals the rest of the half, draining four first half triples en route to 16 first half points. After a hard-fought half Idaho State and Montana would head into halftime knotted up at 35 apiece.

The Bengals came out of the gates hot in the second half, going on a 8-3 run in the first 3:15 of the half, growing their largest lead of the game, 43-38. The Grizzlies would prove to be far from done in this one however, going on an 11-2 run to reclaim the lead, 49-45. As the Bengals and Griz scrapped for points Montana would once again find a way to go on a run, this time outscoring the Bengals 9-2 over the next 4:42, surging to 9-point advantage (65-56) with just 4:40 remaining in the game. The Griz would extend their lead to the largest of the game at 13 points, and go on to close the Bengals out by a final score of 76-68. Following the loss, the Bengals fall to 4-9 overall, losing their last five in a row, and begin conference play 0-2. Montana will get back in the win column, moving their record to 8-5 this season, and begin Big Sky play 1-1.

Brayden Parker led the way for ISU, dropping a season-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from deep, Parker also snagged six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. The other big man for the Bengals, Kiree Huie, finished tonight's game with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, five rebounds, three blocks, and one steal. Maleek Arington was the final Bengal scoring in double figures tonight, finishing with 12 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the field, four steals, three assists, and one rebound. Isaiah Griffin put up nine points, seven rebounds, and one assist, and the final starter for Idaho State, Miguel Tomley, finished the game with four points, three assists, two steals, and one rebound. Off the bench for ISU Trent Johnson tallied two points, one rebound, one assist, one block, and one steal in 10 minutes, and AJ Burgin snagged two rebounds and one steal in 14 minutes.

With his 24 points tonight, Brayden Parker has reached 1,010 career points, becoming the 25th player in Idaho State history to surpass the 1,000-career point mark. Parker moves into 24th place on the ISU All-Time Scoring list, passing Ev Fopma (1,007). With Parker's two blocks tonight, he also jumps up the ISU All-Time Blocks leaderboard. Parker now has 88 career blocks, moving him into 6th place all-time, passing Deividas Busma (2008-11).

The Bengals finished the game shooting 46.4 percent from the field, and 38.9 percent from three-point land, going 7-of-18 from deep. The Bengals tallied 11 assists, 25 rebounds, and 9 steals.

Montana finished the game shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point territory. The Grizzlies finished with 36 rebounds, 4 steals, and 14 assists. UM forced the ball down low all game having nearly 2/3's of their points coming from the paint, as they finished with 48 to Idaho State's 34.

The Bengal men's basketball team will be back in action on Wednesday, January 3rd at 7:30 pm as they travel to Denver, Colorado to face off with the University of Denver Pioneers for their first of two games in the Big Sky – Summit League Challenge.