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Big Sky roundup: Sacramento State falls to Southern Utah; every tournament seed up for grabs

What feels like an innumerable amount of scenarios exist for Big Sky tournament seeding as Sacramento State fails to zip up the conference title.

Bob Solorio, courtesy Sacramento State athletics

James McGee and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds single-handedly kept drama alive from the top of the Big Sky standings to the bottom Thursday night. McGee was 4-of-5 from three and the T-Birds outshot Sacramento State nine to two from deep en route to a 69-65 upset win in Cedar City.

After the Hornets took a one-point lead on a Nick Hornsby layup with 2:39 to go, Juwan Major answered a minute later to reclaim the lead for SUU. Hornsby then missed and Trey Kennedy gave the T-Birds a 68-65 lead with 48 seconds left. A potential tying three from Mikh McKinney was no good, and SUU grabbed the win.

Instead of clinching the conference title and conference tournament hosting rights, Sacramento State enters into a three-way tie with Montana and Eastern Washington -- but can still clinch first place with a victory at Northern Arizona on Saturday.

In Pocatello, Eastern Washington led Idaho State by 17 in the second half, but the Bengals rallied for 55 second-half points to make it interesting. Chris Hansen buried a three-pointer with 49 seconds left to pull ISU within one, but Felix Von Hofe answered with his own three and Eastern survived 85-81.

At the bottom, Weber State led from tip to buzzer in a 74-63 win over Idaho. Joel Bolomboy scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, displaying an array of crossovers, spin moves, and three-pointers not usual for the post player. He also blocked two shots, tying the junior for the school's all-time lead in blocks.

Meanwhile, Northern Arizona downed Portland State with 15 points and eight rebounds from Aaseem Dixon. That puts Weber, Portland State, and Idaho in a three-way tie for the final three spots of the tournament (six through eight), and Southern Utah lurks one game back with tiebreakers over both Weber and Idaho.

In short, the only thing we know about the conference tournament is North Dakota, Montana State, and Idaho State are eliminated from contention, and Sacramento State clinches the title with the win. All other tiebreak scenarios are too complicated for me to dive into them -- it's easier to let the games happen.

Here is Saturday's schedule for all the marbles:

Sacramento State at Northern Arizona - 2:05 p.m. MT
Eastern Washington at Weber State - 7:00 p.m. MT
Portland State at Southern Utah - 7:00 p.m. MT
Idaho at Idaho State - 7:00 p.m. MT
North Dakota at Northern Colorado - 7:00 p.m. MT
Montana at Montana State - 7:05 p.m. MT

BIG SKY STANDINGS

TEAM

BIG SKY

GB

OVR

1. Eastern Washington

13-4

--

22-8

2. Sacramento State

13-4

--

19-9

3. Montana

13-4

--

17-11

4. Northern Arizona

12-5

1

17-13

5. Northern Colorado

9-8

4

14-14

6. Portland State

8-9

5

14-13

7. Idaho

8-9

5

13-15

8. Weber State

8-9

5

13-15

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - -

- -

- - - -

Southern Utah

7-10

6

10-18

North Dakota

4-13

9

8-21

Montana State

4-13

9

7-22

Idaho State

3-14

10

6-23