The men’s basketball team faced off against Big Sky rivals Portland State and Sacramento State last week at home on Feb. 16 and Feb. 18. The Bobcats continued to defend Worthington Arena, defeating both opponents.
The Bobcats tipped off against the Portland State Vikings on Thursday, Feb. 16. The game started out as a back-and-forth affair, with neither team establishing more than a 12-point lead throughout the game. Nearing the end of regulation, the Bobcats had an 11-point lead, 77-66, but PSU wouldn’t go down quietly, however, and took advantage of four straight Bobcat turnovers to whittle the lead down to 82-81 within the final seconds. With 0.2 seconds left on the clock, Portland State’s De’Sean Parsons drew an offensive foul and went to the line to decide the game. Parsons hit the first free throw but missed the second, sending the game into overtime.
The score went back and forth, but it was sophomore guard Tyler Hall who sunk the last shot, driving the lane and shooting a short jump shot within the final seconds to give the Cats a 92-90 win in overtime.
Five Bobcats racked up double-digit numbers in scoring. Hall led the team with 24 points, and also snagged two steals along with a blocked shot. Freshman guard Harald Frey put up 18 points as well as four assists. Sophomore guard Devonte Klines scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds, senior guard Quinton Everett recorded 14 points and junior forward Benson Osayande added 10 points.
MSU continued their home stand against the Sacramento State Hornets on Saturday, Feb. 18. This game proved to be a tight one as well, and at the end of the first half the Bobcats held a slim 28-25 lead. The Cats had a small lead throughout the second half, extending it to 10 points at the 5:24 mark before weathering a late run by the Hornets to hold on and win 62-59.
Hall again led the Bobcats in scoring, racking up 20 points and dishing out four assists. Sophomore forward Sam Neumann recorded a double-double, contributing 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Bobcats held Sacramento State to 39.1 percent shooting, as well as only nine free throw attempts. The men reach 14-14 overall on the season, and 9-6 in Big Sky Conference play.
The Cats will return Saturday, Feb. 25 to play the University of Montana in the annual Brawl of the Wild. The Cats look to avenge their loss earlier this season against the Griz and keep their home game winning streak alive. The game tips off at 7 p.m. in Worthington Arena.