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ISU Men's Basketball

Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 3/11/2024 3:15:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information
Justin Prax
Game Recap: Men's Basketball | 3/11/2024 3:15:00 AM | Ryan Cheney, ISU Sports Information

Bengals Advance to First Big Sky Semi-Finals Since 2009

BOISE, Idaho –The Bengals men's basketball squad played in the second round of the Big Sky Men's Basketball Tournament Sunday night. Taking on the Northern Colorado Bears for the third time on the season. The Bears swept the Bengals in their season series, UNC winning in 2OT in Greeley, and by just two in Pocatello. The Bengals come into the contest looking to be the first ISU team to win multiple games in the same postseason tournament since the 1987 Big Sky Championship team.

The Bears would open the game on a 7-0 run over the first 3:21, looking to take control early in the game. However, Idaho State would have a response, going on a 16-5 run to take a 16-12 lead with 9:14 to play in the half. Following aMiguel Tomley three-pointer with 2:21 remaining in the first half, the Bengals found themselves up by eight points, the largest lead of the first half. The Bears would end the half on a 5-0 run, as Idaho State would take a three-point advantage into the halftime break, 33-30.

To open the second half the Bengals would be able to extend their lead to 12 points, after a nifty Miguel Tomley floater, 48-36 with 14:57 to play. Northern Colorado would have answer, cutting the Bengal lead down to just four points, 52-48 with 10:51 remaining. ISU would have an answer of their own, going on a 15-5 run to push themselves to a 14-point lead, 67-53 with just minutes left on the clock. UNC would refuse to go away, coming back to within six points of the Bengals multiple times, but could not complete the comeback attempt as Idaho State would earn their second Big Sky Tourney win in as many days, and advance to the Big Sky Semi-Finals for the first time since 2009. Following the second-round victory Idaho State will improve to 15-19 overall and 9-11 in conference play. After the loss Northern Colorado will drop to 19-13 overall and 12-7 in Big Sky play.

All five starters for Idaho State would end in double figures, Miguel Tomley would lead the game in scoring, finishing with a season-high 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from three-point land, three rebounds, and one assist. Isaiah Griffin would step up for the Bengals on both ends of the court tonight as Griffin would tally 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from deep, a team-high eight rebounds, one assist, and one steal while helping anchor the Bengals' defense against UNC's Saint Thomas, as ISU would limit the Big Sky Conference's Newcomer of the Year to just 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. Kiree Huie would end tonight with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and six rebounds, while fellow big man, Brayden Parker, would end tonight with 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals, one assist, and one block. The final Bengal starter, Maleek Arington, would end the game with 11 points, eight assists, three rebounds, and one steal. Off the bench for the Bengals Trent Johnson and AJ Burgin would keep the Bengals' rhythm flowing, as Johnson would record four points, three rebounds, and one steal in 21 minutes, and Burgin would provide the Bengals with three points and one rebound, going 1-of-2 from beyond the arc, in 12 minutes of action.

After recording his 1 block tonight, Brayden Parker is now T-5th with Jeff Cook (1977-78) on the ISU Single-Season Blocks list with 47.

Following his 8 assists in the game, Maleek Arington now sits at 159 assists on the season, moving him into 5th place on the ISU Single-Season Assist Leaderboard, passing Tony Malveaux (1983-84), Jordie McTavish (2000-01), and Tyrone Buckman (1991-92). Also, after recording his 1 steal tonight, Arington is now T-8th place on the ISU All-Time Steals list with Matt Stucki (2005-09) at 115.

Following making 3 more three-pointers in tonight, Miguel Tomley, moves up the Idaho State All-Time and Single-Season 3PM record books. Tomley now sits at 81 made three's this season, moving him into 2nd place on the ISU Single-Season list, needing just one more to tie, and two more to break Tim Erickson's (2000-01) Single-Season 3PM record. Tomley also now sits at 139 career 3PM, moving him into sole possession of 7th on the ISU All-Time 3PM list, passing Jeff Gardner (2003-05).

Idaho State finished the game shooting 46.8 percent from the field, and 33.3 percent from three-point territory, going 6-of-18 from deep, and one of their season's best performances at the charity stripe, 19-of-20. Idaho State tallied 11 assists, 32 rebounds, and 6 steals.

Northern Colorado finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point land (8-for-22). The Bears ended the game with 30 rebounds, 4 steals, and 13 assists.

The Idaho State men's basketball team will be advancing to the semi-final round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament on Tuesday, March 12th at 9 pm. Scott Gross will have the call on KISU and the game will be available to stream on ESPNU. The Bengals will face off with thewinner of 3rd seeded Montana and 6th seeded Portland State who play tomorrow, Monday night, at 8 pm.