GAME NOTES: The Montana State Bobcats will put their perfect record in Big Sky Conference play on the line, as they visit the Eastern Washington Eagles at Reese Court on Saturday.
Montana State earned its third win in as many tries against league competition on Thursday with a 79-76 road victory over Portland State. The Bobcats are now sitting at 8-6 overall, with wins in six of their last seven games. They will be back at home next against Northern Colorado.
Eastern Washington put an end to a six-game skid on Thursday, capturing a 69-62 home win over Montana. The win not only broke a losing streak, but was the Eagles' first in league play this season (1-2). They will head out on the road to face Northern Arizona next.
These teams split the season series last year, with the two contests decided by a total of six points. Eastern Washington has still won three of the last four meetings overall, but Montana State leads the all-time series, 43-31.
Antonio Biglow scored 15 points off the bench, netting 5-of-8 shots from the floor as part of a 56.3 percent overall shooting effort from the Bobcats on Thursday. Biglow's production helped Montana State claim a 28-7 advantage in scoring from its reserves, which certainly proved useful.
Even though they are one of only two teams that is still without a loss in league play in the Big Sky, the Bobcats have not had been hammering their opponents. They score a respectable 72.8 ppg, but own a scoring differential of just +3.4. Head coach Brad Huse has preferred to spread the wealth, rather than rely on just a single scorer. Flavien Davis (10.9 ppg) is the only player on the team averaging in double figures at the moment, but there are eight different players putting in at least 5.5 ppg. Davis tallied 11 points against Portland State, and Paul Egwuonwu (8.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg) finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Tyler Harvey and Martin Seiferth did most of the heavy lifting in Eastern Washington's win on Thursday. Harvey hit four shots from beyond the arc and totaled a game-high 25 points, while Seiferth recorded a double-double (21 points, 12 rebounds), to go with four blocks.
Harvey (20.4 ppg) is expected to put forth such efforts, as the 6-foot-4 guard is second in the conference in scoring and has produced at least 20 points in seven games this season. Seiferth (7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg) is less likely to erupt offensively, although he is tied for second in the Big Sky in blocks. Venky Jois (12.9 ppg, 8 rpg, 1.4 bpg) matches Seiferth in blocked shots and is the fourth-leading rebounder in the conference. Drew Brandon (10.9 ppg, 5.1 apg) can score, but his ability to move the ball to open teammates is more important as he leads the league in assists.
EWU had played four straight away contests before Thursday night's bout. Getting back home helped in that duel and should be a helpful factor yet again.
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