Vandals pick up first Big Sky win in thrilling fashion over MSU - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals pick up first Big Sky win in thrilling fashion over MSU

Idaho Athletics

MOSCOW, Idaho – Brayon Blake returned from injury on Saturday night and came up huge with the game-winning tip-in with just three seconds left in overtime as Idaho (6-8, 1-2) defeated Montana State (6-11, 1-3), 83-81, on Saturday night.


The Vandals needed some last second heroics to force the extra period.  Trailing by three inside the final seconds Victor Sanders caught a long rebound and drew a foul on a 3-point attempt.  The junior was calm, cool and collected at the line, sinking all three to take the game to overtime.

Overtime was just as close as regulation, with five ties and three lead changes over five minutes.  Idaho would take a three-point lead of its own with 44 seconds to play, but the Bobcats responded with a 3-pointer by Tyler Hall.  Idaho had one last opportunity, with just over 30 seconds to play in overtime and the game tied.

Pat Ingram drove to the rack just as the shot clock was set to expire, but his attempt rimmed out.  Blake was there to battle for the board and managed to get his hand on the ball to send it right back up and in with just seconds to play.  Montana State’s desperation heave down court was picked off by Ingram and the Vandals earned their first Big Sky win of the year.

Sanders led the Vandals with 27 points and six assists.  Blake was solid off the bench, finishing with 10 points and seven boards, including the one huge offensive rebound to seal the win.


The Brothers Sherwood.  Chad Sherwood had a fantastic game, scoring a season-high 17 points and grabbing four rebounds.  He finished the night 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 6-of-6 from the line.

Nate Sherwood scored seven in 21 minutes of action.  He also finished with five boards, none bigger than his offensive rebound with eight seconds to play in regulation to give Idaho one last shot at the tie.


“Wow.  That was a heck of a basketball game,” said head coach Don Verlin.  “I was really proud of our guys.  We had a number of chances to hang our heads and not finish the job, but I thought we kept battling.  We kept fighting and we found a way to win this basketball game.  By no means was it perfect from an execution standpoint, but it was really good for us, as far as being able to compete and compete hard for 40 minutes tonight.

“I don’t know if there was one play, or anything different, I just thought we stayed in it mentally.  I thought that was as important as anything, just not getting frustrated.  We had a couple times, with some tough turnovers, maybe a call didn’t go our way, but our guys stayed in it mentally and kept fighting and kept working and found a way to win.  Vic gets fouled on that last 3-point shot, we chase down a long rebound then he gets fouled and makes three free throws.  We were very fortunate to win the game but I thought we earned the victory with how hard we played.

“It was great.  What happened was we were running a little slip play there for him and we didn’t get the action so Pat curled it, went down the lane.  BJ’s man helped, Pat shot it up.  It put BJ in a great position to rebound it.  I thought we had two guys right up by the rim, I didn’t know who tipped it in.  I had to ask in the locker room who tipped it.”


  • Chad Sherwood scored a season-high 17 points in the win
  • Victor Sanders scored 20-plus points for the third straight game
  • Sanders hit a career-high 15 free throws
  • The win is Idaho’s second overtime win of the season (South Dakota State, 11/21/16)

Next up the Vandals travel to defending Big Sky Tournament Champions, Weber State, on Thursday.  Check back with next week for more information.

Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho men's basketball by following the team on twitter, @VandalHoops.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit  Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.

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