Vandals Take Down Bobcats, Win 5th Straight
MOSCOW, Idaho — It was another all-out battle in the Cowan Spectrum on Thursday night, and yet again the Vandals came out on top, this time defeating Montana State 88-78.
The first half went back-and-forth, with nine lead changes and five ties. Brayon Blake got going early and often, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half, but Idaho trailed 40-38 at the break.
Montana State took control in the opening minutes of the second half, building a nine-point lead less than three minutes in. The squads traded buckets over the next couple of possessions, then the Vandals got going.
Down 56-48 with 14:38 to play, Arkadiy Mkrtychyan stepped up with five straight points for the Vandals. Mkrtychyan showed off his strength on the block, drawing a pair of fouls, with one leading to a three-point play. Jordan Scott and MSU’s Zach Green traded buckets on the ensuing possessions, before a 3-pointer from Perrion Callandret leveled the score at 58.
The Vandals kept the pressure up from there, with Blake knocking down a pair of 3’s. Mkrtychyan capped off the run at 20-4 with another bucket inside, putting Idaho up 68-60 with under 10 minutes to play.
Montana State was able to pull back ahead at 72-71, then Victor Sanders came alive. He scored eight straight for the Vandals, helping Idaho turn a one-point deficit into a four-point advantage over a 90-second stretch.
Idaho locked in from there, forcing the Bobcats into tough shots. The Vandal offense stayed in tune as well, capped off by a ferocious dunk from Sanders with just over a minute to play, as Idaho took the 88-78 win.
Blake led the way for Idaho with 24 points. Sanders added 21, while Scott finished with 10.