Thursday, March 7, 2013

Montana State Close to Clinching (and the Rest of the Action)

There were big game on Thursday night, but perhaps the biggest was between Northern Arizona and Montana State. With both teams knotted at 8-10 in the conference, a win would come close to guaranteeing a spot for the winner, while a loss creates a must-win for the loser on Saturday.

MSU looked like they might run away with it in the first half, as they led 47-35 at intermission. But NAU stormed back with a huge second half to send the game to overtime. In the extra frame, it was MSU taking care of business at home, getting a pivotal 83-79 win. MSU was led by a career day for Antonio Biglow, who finished with 27 points and seven steals. He played 43 minutes, and this is the Biglow that everyone expected all season. Huge performance from.

MSU also got 19 from Paul Egwuonwu and 18 from Flavien Davis. The two JUCO transfers were a bit slow adjusting to DI, but both have been playing great basketball lately. NAU was led by Gabe Rogers, who seemed to will the team to come back in the second half. The scoring title is his to lose, but the bigger prize for NAU is a win on Saturday night against Montana.

Montana State needs either a win, or a loss from either NAU or SUU, and they are in the Big Sky tournament.


There was no drama at the top of the Big Sky standings. Montana took care of business at home, taking down Sacramento State 63-52. The win moves Montana to 18-1, and one win away from a second straight outright Big Sky title.

The biggest news out of that game is that Will Cherry was in uniform (though didn't play), and could possibly see some minutes on Saturday night. Obviously you do not need me to tell you how huge that would be for Montana.

The other team battling for the top spot, Weber State, obliterated Portland State in Ogden. The score was 41-13 at the half. That is probably all you need to know about that one. The Wildcats need a Montana and a Montana State loss in order to win the Big Sky (along with a win). Good luck.


In the final game, Eastern Washington went into Pocatello and won 87-73 over Idaho State. The Eagles made 14/26 from three-point range. Parker Kelly was 6/10, while Tyler Harvey was 5/9 from deep. Something to watch - if Eastern Washington can somehow win on Saturday at Weber State, they have a chance to join teams in a tiebreaker at 8-12 in the Big Sky. It's a long shot, but something to watch.

Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball

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