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ISU Men's Basketball

Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 1/7/2024 12:32:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Justin Prax
Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 1/7/2024 12:32:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Bengals Defeat Nebraska-Omaha in Last Second Thriller

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho –The Idaho State men's basketball team traveled up the road to the MACU Center in Idaho Falls Saturday night to face off with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in both team's final games as part of the inaugural Big Sky vs Summit League Challenge.

Idaho State and Nebraska-Omaha battled early and often. Both teams finding the open man and going basket for basket. In an opening half that saw the seven ties and nine lead changes, the Bengals and Mavericks would go into the halftime break tied up at 29 apiece.

Coming out of the break the Mavericks looked like men on a mission, going on a 21-4 run, growing a 17-point lead at the 12:50 mark on the second half. It looked bleak for the Bengals, however, following 3-straight three-pointers by AJ Burgin the Bengals would find themselves down just 12 and growing some momentum. After some steals by Maleek Arington and Trent Johnson and two crafty Miguel Tomley lay-in's the Bengals would now cut the Maverick lead to just seven with 5:47 to play. Two straight triples by big man, Brayden Parker, capped a 13-4 ISU run that would bring their deficient to just three points, 57-60 with 4:25 remaining in the contest. Following a couple of jumpers by Brayden Parker and Trent Johnson the Bengals trailed by just one point. Nebraska-Omaha would come down the floor with 40 seconds on the clock and rebound up their own miss, but Trent Johnson would send back the Maverick layup and Maleek Arington would draw a foul with just five second left to play. After a Bengal timeout AJ Burgin was ready to throw in for ISU from underneath the Maverick basket. Burgin tossed his entry pass to Brayden Parker towards the top of the key, when Parker found a wide-open Maleek Arington on a backdoor cut towards the hoop for a layup with just 2.5 seconds on the clock. UNO would miss their half-court heave and the Bengals earned their first victory since December 2nd. Following the win, the Bengals move to 5-10 overall, and Nebraska-Omaha will fall to 8-9 on the year.

Brayden Parker would lead the way for the Bengals, dropping 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from deep, Parker also snagged four rebounds, and two assists. Maleek Arington would tally six points, tie his career-high with seven assists, set a new career-high in steals with five, and add four rebounds. Four ISU players would finish this game with nine points. Miguel Tomley would put up nine points, four assists, and two rebounds, Isaiah Griffin would go for nine points and six rebounds, and the final Bengal starter, Kiree Huie, put up nine points, three rebounds, one block, and one assist. Off the bench AJ Burgin and Trent Johnson provided a huge spark for Idaho State, Burgin scored nine points on a season-best 3-of-4 shooting from deep and added one rebound in 15 minutes, while Johnson stuffed the stat sheet, adding a season-high seven points, four rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal in 24 minutes.

The Bengals finished the game shooting 45.3 percent from the field, and 37.5 percent from three-point land, going 9-of-24 from deep (Tied for most in a game this season). The Bengals tallied 16 assists (4th most in a game this season), 27 rebounds, and 6 steals.

Nebraska-Omaha finished the game shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point territory (5-10). The Mavericks finished with 28 rebounds, 6 steals, and 11 assists.

The Bengal men's basketball team will hit the road for their next two games. They will be traveling to Portland, Oregon to face off with the Portland State Vikings on Thursday, January 11th at 8 PM MT, followed by their matchup with Sacramento State in Sacramento, California on Saturday, January 13th at 7 PM MT. Both of these games will be available to stream on ESPN+ or listen live as Scott Gross will have the call on KISU.