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Vandals’ hectic rally comes up short against Idaho State

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 22, 2018

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POCATELLO – Brandon Boyd made a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left and finished with 32 points to lead Idaho State to an 86-83 victory over Idaho on Thursday night.

Idaho State (13-13, 8-7 Big Sky Conference) has won three of its last four games. Idaho (19-8, 11-4) had its six-game win streak snapped but remains in third place in the conference standings behind Montana (13-2) and Weber State (12-3), which lost to Eastern Washington. Idaho, which defeated Montana last weekend, plays at Weber State on Saturday.

Idaho State had a 10-point lead with 3 minutes left, but Brayon Blake scored seven points and Victor Sanders hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left for the Vandals to tie at 83.

“At the end of the day, when they shoot 52 percent from the field and 59 percent from the 3, and make 16 3s, you’re probably not going to win the basketball game,” Vandals coach Don Verlin said. “We’re probably lucky it was a three-point basketball game.

“We as coaches, we as players, have to get better defensively. For a team that was so good early in the year, for whatever reason we’ve slipped a little bit and we have to get that fixed.”

Balint Mocsan added 18 points, Jared Stutzman had 17 and Geno Luzcando 10 for the Bengals. Novak Topalovic chipped in nine points and 11 rebounds.

Sanders and Nate Sherwood scored 19 points apiece for Idaho. Blake, who had 27 points in the Vandals’ two-point win against Montana on Saturday, finished with 18 points.

Idaho State jumped out to a 21-11 lead in the opening minutes after starting lights-out from beyond the arc. Idaho cut that deficit to as little as four, on multiple occasions, but the Bengals held on to lead 45-38 at halftime.

Both teams came out hot to start the second, but Idaho couldn’t find an answer for the ISU 3-point shooting. The Bengals were ahead by as many as 11 points in the second half, but then Idaho came storming back.

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