PORTLAND, Ore. — Montana State had victory in its grasp Saturday night but saw a large second-half lead disappear in a 94-91 loss at Portland State.
The Bobcats (10-11, 5-3 Big Sky) took a 15-point lead, 85-70, with 4:25 remaining after Robert Ford III hit a step-back 3-pointer. But the Vikings closed the game on a 24-6 run to pull it out, which included a tying 3 by Ismail Habib with 40 seconds left off an MSU turnover.
The Cats turned the ball over again with 11 seconds left, and Isaiah Johnson made 1 of 2 foul shots to put PSU ahead 92-91. The Vikings' K.J. Allen secured an offensive rebound off Johnson's miss, was fouled, and made two free throws with three seconds left to give Portland State a three-point lead.
A tying 3-point attempt by the Bobcats' Brian Goracke missed at the buzzer.
"We didn't get it done," Bobcats coach Matt Logie stated in a press release. "We needed to be stronger and tougher, and for 39 minutes our guys did a heck of a job, and then didn't finish the deal."
Ford led MSU with 26 points before fouling out. Portland State's Allen also had 26. The Vikings scored 16 points off nine Montana State turnovers in the second half.
The Bobcats return home this Thursday for a 7 p.m. game against Big Sky rival Eastern Washington. MSU will host Idaho on Saturday night.