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ISU Men's Basketball

Bengals Drop Final Game of Regular Season to Griz

MISSOULA, Montana –The Bengals men's basketball team played their final game of the 2023-24 regular season tonight. Idaho State would travel to Missoula, Montana, searching for their first win against the Grizzlies in the last five tries.

The Griz jumped out to an early 7-2 lead over Idaho State just 2:30 into the game. Montana would grow their lead to the largest of the first half, at eight, 21-13, with 10:16 remaining in the first half. The Bengals would come within one point of Montana, however, the Griz would head into the halftime break leading Idaho State, 31-27.

Idaho State would be able to knot the game up at 36 all to open the second half, but Montana would proceed to go on an 18-4 run, giving them their largest lead of the game at 14 points, 54-40 with 13:23 remaining. The Bengals would be unable to come closer than nine points the rest of the game, as Montana would go on to win by 14, 79-65. Following the win, Montana will end the regular season 21-10 overall and 12-6 in Big Sky play, as they lock up the 3rd seed in the Big Sky Tournament. After the loss Idaho State will finish off the regular season 12-19 overall and 7-11 in conference play, losing their last three games in a row and five of their last six. The Bengals will fall to the 8th seed in the Big Sky Tournament and will play opening day vs the 7 seed, Northern Arizona, as the Bengals will look to avenge last week's 2OT loss to the Lumberjacks.

Kiree Huie would lead the Bengals in scoring tonight, as four Idaho State players would finish scoring in double figures. Huie would tie his career-high with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, 11 rebounds, and one assist. Maleek Arington would continue his hot-streak as of late, dropping 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists, while fellow starting guard, Miguel Tomley, would end the game with 11 points and two assists. Brayden Parker ended the game as the final Bengal scoring in double-digits, as he would drop 11 points, four rebounds, one block, and one steal, and the final starter for Idaho State, Isaiah Griffin, would finish tonight with four points, five rebounds, and one steal. Off the bench for the Bengals, AJ Burgin would record three points, three rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 16 minutes.

After recording one block tonight Brayden Parker is now in sole possession of 7th place on the ISU Single-Season Blocks list, passing Kelvin Jones (2018-19) after recording his 45th block on the season.

Following his 2 assists in the game, Maleek Arington sits at 148 assists on the season, pushing him into sole possession of 10th place on the ISU Single-Season Assist leaderboard, passing Craig Murphy (1989-90). Arington is now just one assist shy of tying Erin Cowan (1992-93) & Mike Graefe (1985-86) for 8th.

Idaho State finished the game shooting 42.1 percent from the field, and 20 percent from three-point territory, going 2-of-10 from behind the arc. The Bengals tallied 6 assists, 33 rebounds, and 5 steals.

Montana finished the game shooting 60.4 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from three-point land (5-for-19). The Griz finished the game with 30 rebounds, 7 steals, and 15 assists.

The Bengals men's basketball squad will be the 8th seed in the upcoming Big Sky Conference Tournament, and face off with the 7th seed, Northern Arizona, in the opening round on Saturday, March 9th at 8 pm. The 2nd seed, Northern Colorado, will be waiting for whoever comes out on top between ISU and NAU in the second round of the tournament.