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ISU MBB: Bengals squander second-half lead in loss at Portland State

February 10, 2017

Despite leading for a majority of the game and being up by 10 points with seven minutes remaining, the Idaho State men’s basketball team dropped a 74-69 contest at Portland State on Thursday.

Idaho State (5-18, 3-8 Big Sky Conference) led 54-44 with 7:01 remaining in the game after a 3-pointer by Balint Mocsan. The Bengals then managed two points over the next four minutes as PSU went on a 13-2 run to take a 57-56 lead with 3:27 to play.

“I am real disappointed in the way we performed over the final 10-12 minutes,” Idaho State coach Bill Evans said. “We couldn’t shoot the ball, handle their pressure and we didn’t get back on defense. We did not play well down the stretch.”

Idaho State had a 3-point attempt to tie the game and send it to overtime with two seconds left but it fell short and the Vikings (12-10, 5-6) sealed the win with two free throws in the final seconds.

Geno Luzcando led the ISU attack with 18 points, seven rebounds and he tied his career-high in steals with seven.

Ethan Telfair had 15 points and Robert Jones III had 12 points and six rebounds. Novak Topalovic had 12 points and four rebounds and was 5 of 7 from the field.

Idaho State shot 48 percent for the game and turned the ball over 18 times. The Bengals were 4 of 20 from the 3-point line and 9 of 13 from the free-throw line. Portland State shot 46.4 percent and outrebounded ISU 34-30. The Viking offense was forced into 19 turnovers.

Idaho State led 36-33 at halftime and didn’t relinquish the lead until the final four minutes of the game.

Idaho State plays at Sacramento State on Saturday.