Thursday night’s 79-58 victory over Idaho State served as a fitting moving-on ceremony for the seniors who will be remembered for bringing wins and fans back to the Stott Center. The sell-out crowd on hand for Senior Night served as a testament to how far the basketball program has come under the seniors’ watch. Those same seniors overcame a sloppy first half to make sure the fans, both new and old, went home excited about Vikings basketball.
The win capped a perfect 7-0 conference home record and extended the Viks’ home winning streak to 12 games.
Emotions from the pre-game ceremony honoring this year’s departing seniors contributed to a frustrating first half where the obviously superior Vikings struggled to pull away from an undermanned Bengals squad. In the first half PSU outrebounded the Bengals by six, shot 50 percent from the floor and held the Bengals’ two leading scorers to a total of seven points, yet found themselves ahead only 34-26 at half.
Blake Walker, Seamus Boxley, Antone Jarrell and Will Funn – the four seniors at the heart of this year’s success – decided they had had enough of that. They put up 18 points and six assists to key a 21-4 run to start the second half and put the game away. The Bengals never got back within 12.
Funn finished with a career-high 14 assists, Boxley notched his seventh double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, Walker scored 20 and Jarrell put up 14 points and eight rebounds.