Big Sky Conference

BIG SKY ROUNDUP: Weber State edges EWU to remain in first place

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OGDEN, Utah – It was an exciting night in the Big Sky as Weber State held off Eastern Washington to remain unbeaten in conference action while Montana took sole possession second place in the league with a home win over North Dakota on Saturday (click here for story). Montana State snapped a three-game losing streak by smothering Northern Colorado (click here for story).

WSU guard Jeremy Senglin  /by Brooks Nuanez

WSU guard Jeremy Senglin /by Brooks Nuanez

Weber State 70, Eastern Washington 67 — Eastern Washington (11-7, 3-2 BSC) took league-leading Weber State (9-6, 4-0 BSC) to the wire, but the Wildcats held on for a three-point win, the Wildcats’ seventh straight. Kyndahl Hill earned a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Cody John led WSU in scoring with 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Jeremy Senglin added 18 points on 6-of-11 from the field.

John drilled a 3-pointer with 71 seconds left to put WSU up 66-64. After a second-chance miss by Mason Peatling with 47 seconds left, John sank two free throws to push the lead to 68-64 with 12 seconds left. Wiley tipped in a Felix Van Hofe miss through contact and converted a 3-point play to cut the Weber lead to 68-67. Dusty Baker sank two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to keep Weber State in first place.

“I was so proud of our team for playing tough and finding a way late in the game,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said. “Eastern Washington threw us back on our heels early with their size and length. We needed to regroup at halftime and came back more aggressively in the second half.”

Senior Jacob Wiley shot 15-of-20 to lead the Eagles with a game-high 36 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. Sir Washington dished out a game-high six assists for the Eags.

 

Eastern Washington senior Jake Wiley / courtesy of EWU athletics

Eastern Washington senior Jake Wiley / courtesy of EWU athletics

“Jake put us on his back — what a super-human effort he had tonight,” Eastern head coach Jim Hayford said. “I’m really proud of him. He attempted the 3-pointers, and if he makes one of them he keeps them off-balance all night, and if he makes make two of them, they really aren’t sure what to do. Give him credit – he made both of them.”

EWU junior Bogdan Bliznyuk entered the game as the league’s sixth-leading scorer at 19.1 points per game. He finished Saturday night 4-of-20 from the floor for 10 points. No Eagle outside of Wiley and Bliznyuk scored more than six as EWU lost for the second straight time.

In the 100th game of his Weber career, senior Jeremy Senglin hit two 3-pointers and score 18 points. He now has 274 3-pointers in his career, two short of former NAU sharpshooter Steve Sir for third in Big Sky Conference history and 34 short of the Big Sky record held by NAU’s Ross Land. Senglin has made 63 3-pointers this season, the sixth-most in the country.

Weber State shot 57 percent and held EWU without a 3-point field goal in the second half in overcoming a 35-28 halftime deficit.

Idaho State junior Geno Luzcando goes to the hoop against Idaho senior Ty Egbert

Idaho State junior Geno Luzcando goes to the hoop against Idaho senior Ty Egbert/ courtesy of Idaho State athletics

Idaho 77, Idaho State 62 – The Vandals (7-9, 2-3 BSC) came out on top in a Gem State showdown at Idaho State (3-14, 0-4 BSC). Junior Victor Sanders scored most of his game-high 22 points at the free-throw line, making 14-of-15 and just 3-of-11 from the field. Sanders also led the Vandals with four assists on the night while sophmore Chad Sherwood added 13 points.

“We needed this game, no question about it,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said after his team picked up its second league win. “No one is feeling it more in the locker room than the players.  But we can’t do anything about these last five games.  What we can do is take care of what we can take care of.

“All we have to do is continue to fight and make sure we’re playing our best basketball in March.  That’s what it’s all about.”

Senior Ethan Telfair paced the Bengals with 16 points on 3-of-12 shooting and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Freshman Brandon Boyd was the only other Bengal in double-digits with 15 points.

“I think Idaho played really well,” Idaho State coach Bill Evans said. “They did a good job defensively and we had a hard time scoring the ball. We fouled a bunch in the end but we couldn’t score baskets.”

Sac St. forward Justin Strings (3) pictured here last season against Montana

Sac St. forward Justin Strings (3) pictured here last season against Montana

Sacramento State 74, Northern Arizona 62 – The Hornets (5-11, 2-3 BSC) outscored Northern Arizona (3-14, 0-4 BSC) by 22 points in the second half to earn their second straight Big Sky win. The victory was the first for the Hornets in Flagstaff, since 2005. NAU led by 10 at the half thanks to a perfect 6-of-6 at the free-throw line and nine first half 3-pointers, but the Hornets rallied in the second frame to pick up the win. Sac junior Justin Strings led the way for Sac State with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Sac State junior Nick Hornsby added 17 points with a team-high eight rebounds.

Senior Jordyn Martin led the way for the Lumberjacks with 14 points and was one-round shy of tying his career-high with 16. Sophomores Mike Green and Marcus DeBerry each chipped in 10 points.

Portland State 88, Southern Utah 77 – The Vikings (10-5, 3-1 BSC) got their road trip off to a good start with a win at Southern Utah (4-14, 2-3 BSC).  Senior Zach Gengler and junior Bryce Canda each scored a game-high 16 points as PSU picked up its seventh win in the last eight games. Senior De’Sean Parsons had a strong performance with 13s in both the points and rebounds column.

Senior John Marshall and junior Randy Onuwasor were the top scorers for the Thunderbirds with 15 points each. Both players were one rebound shy of a double-double with nine.

“For us, it rolls down to getting stops, rebounding, and minimizing the mishaps and slow reactions from the young guys,” Southern Utah head coach Todd Simon said in a press release. “At the end of the day, we’re frustrated when we have those mishaps. A lot of the times you like out there, and you have multiple sophomores or freshmen. You’ve gotta play through it and give them that experience.”

Big Sky basketball resumes Monday with Portland State taking on Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.Mountain.

Click on scoreline for full box score. Photos by Brooks Nuanez or attributed. All Rights Reserved. 

 

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