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Big Sky roundup: Eastern Washington lone unbeaten with Idaho road win

Eastern Washington shot through a late blizzard from Idaho, and Weber State survived a grinder with Montana State in Saturday's Big Sky action.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

EASTERN WASHINGTON 89, IDAHO 86

Just two weeks into Big Sky play, Eastern Washington is the lone undefeated team remaining. Tyler Harvey, the nation's leading scorer, keyed a late 12-1 to give the Eagles a 79-70 lead with three minutes left.

Idaho got nine points in its next three possessions, however, with threes by Mike Scott, Connor Hill, and three free throws from Scott after getting fouled on a three attempt.

An exchange of made free throws was broken when Bogdan Bliznyuk missed one with 9.9 seconds left. But Scott, who hit the game winner last week against Weber State, couldn't find the magic on his final three attempt and the Eagles held on.

Harvey finished with 21 points and six rebounds, while Venky Jois added 16 points, five rebounds, and a whopping six blocks.

Hill scored 16 for the Vandals in the loss with Scott chipping in 15.

WEBER STATE 65, MONTANA STATE 62

OGDEN -- A burgeoning star in Joel Bolomboy did his best to honor an all-time Weber State great on Saturday night. Willie Sojourner averaged 14.1 rebounds per game in his college career, still the Big Sky record, and his #35 jersey was retired at halftime.

Bolomboy fought through a physical Montana State gameplan to score 17 points and pull down 11 rebounds to lead Weber State to the win.

"He's going to see what he saw tonight a lot. He saw double teams, he saw extremely physical play," Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said. "I told him yesterday in preparation, 'These guys are going to knock the absolute hell out of you.' For the most part, I thought he played through it pretty well."

Big men Danny Robison and Eric Norman each tallied four fouls trying to guard Bolomboy.

Montana State opened the second half on a 13-3 run with threes from Robison and Michael Dison, as well as a smooth runner to beat the shot clock from Marcus Colbert.

One of Weber State's three turnovers in the first three minutes of the half led to a runout from Dison, who had a wide-open look from the corner to give Montana State a 10-point lead, but Richaud Gittens chased it down and blocked the attempt.

Weber then answered with a score and foul by Jeremy Senglin, who converted the free throw to make it a four-point game.

With the Bobcats trying to run away again, Gittens hit a three to cut the deficit to 46-41, then Senglin scored at the rim for a three-point play. Montana State's lead was 46-44 with 11:15 left. That sequence was part of a 13-1 run for Weber State.

Montana State closed the gap several times but committed two turnovers with chance to lead or tie. Weber State made its key play to hold on to the win when Senglin poked the ball away from Dison at the top of the key. The ball trickled out to Chris Golden, who hit Gittens for a transition three-pointer. This gave Weber a 57-51 lead with 4:23,

Gittens shot 4-for-4 from three on the night and finished with 14 points.

Interestingly, Montana State ended both halves with buzzer-beating three-pointers. The first was from Utah native Stephan Holm, who hit a half-court double-clutch trey to cut Weber's lead to 42-39 at halftime. The second came from Dison, who hit net on a three with the game out of reach to make the final score 65-62. Mike Scott drained a three-quarter-court buzzer beater to end the first half last week for Idaho in a two-point win over Weber.

NORTHERN COLORADO 84, SACRAMENTO STATE 73

Sacramento State joined Idaho and EWU as the three teams entering the night unbeaten in league play, but the Hornets couldn't survive their trip to Greeley, falling to the Bears. No stats were available at the time of writing.

MONTANA 90, IDAHO STATE 64

Montana improved to 3-1 in conference play, bouncing back from its loss to Weber by pouring it on Idaho State, scoring 56 points in the first half which included a 6-of-7 three-point performance from Brandon Gfeller. He would hit one more in the second half to finish 7-of-12, all of his field goal attempts, to lead the Griz with 23 points. Jordan Gregory picked himself up after a bad game to score 20 points.

NORTHERN ARIZONA 70, SOUTHERN UTAH 67

Aaseem Dixon scored 22 to help NAU hold off Southern Utah. The Lumberjacks led 56-38 with 6:37 left, but SUU ripped off a 24-9 run and pulled within three on a three-pointer from James McGee with 17 seconds left. The Jacks sealed the game at the free throw line.

PORTLAND STATE 82, NORTH DAKOTA 75

Portland State got 20 points from big man Braxton Tucker and 18 from DaShaun Wiggins to beat struggling North Dakota in Grand Forks.

BIG SKY STANDINGS

TEAM CONF GB OVR
Eastern Washington 3-0 -- 12-4
Sacramento State 3-1 .5 9-6
Northern Colorado 3-1 .5 8-7
Montana 3-1 .5 6-8
Idaho 2-1 1 7-7
Northern Arizona 2-1 1 7-9
Portland State 2-2 1.5 8-6
Weber State 2-2 1.5 7-8
North Dakota 1-3 2.5 5-10
Idaho State 1-3 2.5 4-12
Southern Utah 0-3 3 3-11
Montana State 0-4 3.5 3-13