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Montana men's basketball earns first series sweep, holds off Idaho State

Mack Anderson
Posted at 4:23 PM, Feb 27, 2021

Brandon Whitney's free throw with two seconds left lifted the Montana men's basketball team to its first season sweep of a conference foe on Saturday afternoon, as the Grizzlies topped Idaho State 59-58 in Pocatello, Idaho.

Robby Beasley led UM with 18 points while Mack Anderson tied his career-high with 15 points as the Grizzlies (11-12, 7-9 Big Sky Conference) held off a late Bengal rally to earn their 21st straight victory over Idaho State. The Griz shot 37.8% from the field and 5 for 16 from deep, including a 1-for-8 mark in the second half.

Similar to Thursday's win, Montana started fast, as the Griz grabbed a 12-3 lead to start after Beasley converted a 3-pointer. Montana ultimately went into halftime up 32-19.

Trailing Montana 55-44 with 4:34 to play, Idaho State began its rally as the Bengals ultimately tied it 58-58 with 1:08 to go. Then, with two seconds to play, Whitney was fouled by Robert Ford III, sending him to the line where he missed the first free throw before converting the second to seal the victory for the Griz.

Montana finished shooting 20 for 25 from the free throw line, including a 14-for-18 performance in the second half. Kyle Owens led UM in rebounds with seven while Whitney had four assists. UM out-rebounded ISU 33-31.

Ford led the Bengals (12-9, 7-5) with 18 points as Idaho State finished shooting 37.5% from the field, 7 for 18 from deep and 15 for 27 from the free throw line.

Montana is scheduled to conclude its regular season with two games against Idaho on Thursday and Saturday in Missoula. The first round of the Big Sky Conference men's basketball tournament is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 10 in Boise, Idaho.