Portland State’s second-half surge falls short against Idaho State

The Portland State Vikings took on the Idaho State Bengals in another Big Sky conference match-up Saturday night. Both teams looked to end a two-game losing streak with a win at the PSU Stott Center.

In the first half, the Bengals exploited the Vikings’ defense and scored on several fast breaks. The Vikings struggled to recover defensive rebounds, opening up second-chance scoring opportunities for the Bengals. At the end of the first half, Idaho State led 41-31.

The Bengals pressed their lead into the second half, extending the margin to 14 points with just over nine minutes of game time. The Vikings refused to give up, making a run for a comeback as the clock wound down.

In the game’s final minutes, PSU forward Cameron Forte sank a layup and a free throw, bringing the Vikings within three points of the Bengals. The Vikings made a stop on defense to regain possession, but Idaho State guard Geno Luzcando stole the ball and drew a foul, extending the Bengals lead to five with 13 seconds left to play.

Armani Collins scored a quick layup in the final seconds, nudging PSU closer to Idaho State. But time was not on the Vikings’ side and the Bengals clenched a 73-70 victory.

Bengals guard Ethan Telfair led all scorers with 25 points (8-18 FG, 8-9 FT), 11 assists and six rebounds. Portland State forward Isaiah Pineiro led the way for the Vikings with 15 points (5-11 FG), 9 rebounds and three assists.

The Vikings face Sacramento State on Jan. 23 in Sacramento. Video and audio broadcasting will be available online at eversport.tv/big-sky.