I thought Idaho State and Portland State were supposed to be the two worst teams in the Big Sky? That is what the standings say, and for the most part, that's what the eye test has said too. But on Thursday night, they looked like they should a lot higher up in the standings.
First, Idaho State creamed Montana State. Any adjective that you want to use, you can, as the final was 87-51 Bengals. They were led by sophomore Chris Hansen, who made a school record nine threes en route to a career high 27 points. As a team, the Bengals shot 64% from the field. On the other side, MSU turned the ball over 17 times and shot 38%.
The win moves ISU to 4-11 in the Big Sky, while MSU falls to 7-8, tied for fifth. For the Bobcats, this is deja vu. Another promising start is falling away, as they have lost three straight with a trip to face Weber State coming up. Second half collapses are becoming like the setting sun - they always happen.
In the nightcap, Portland State easily dispatched Southern Utah, winning 90-69. Six Vikings scored in double figures, led by Michael Harthun's 19, while Renado Parker had perhaps his best game of the season with 16 and 8.
PSU moves to 4-11 and while it is likely too late for them to make a run at the conference tournament, they have the talent, especially at home, to beat some teams. Offensively they can score, the challenge for next year will be turning that into production on the other side of the court as well.
SUU falls to 8-7, and they are now tied with North Dakota for the three seed in the Big Sky.
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