Victor Sanders hit a 3-pointer and Perrion Callandret made two free throws in the final 39 seconds to give Idaho a 62-58 victory over Big Sky Conference leader Weber State on Thursday night.
With the win, the Vandals earn a first-round bye in the Big Sky Championships in Reno.
“The difference in this game was rebounding,” Idaho coach Don Verlin said. “Like I told the guys in my locker room, I take my hats off for them. That was a man’s effort tonight on the glass. This game came down to rebounding and we rebounded like men tonight.”
Sanders scored 14 points to lead the Vandals (19-11, 11-6 Big Sky), who have won two straight and can clinch the No. 3 seed into the conference tournament with a win against visiting Idaho State on Saturday.
Weber State (22-8, 14-3) had its six-game win streak snapped and is tied with Montana atop the conference.
Jeremy Senglin had 17 points and Joel Bolomboy added 16 for Weber State, which shot just 52 percent from the line, making 13 of 25 free throws.
It was tied at 57-all before Sanders made a 3-pointer. On the Wildcats’ next possession, Senglin missed two 3-point attempts and Bolomboy split a pair of free throws before Callandret sealed it.
IDAHO STATE BASKETBALL: Ethan Telfair scored 31 points with seven assists and Idaho State held off Eastern Washington 75-71 and are still in the hunt for one of the top four seeds into the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
Idaho State sits in a tie for third place in the Big Sky with Idaho, who they play on Saturday.
Telfair has scored at least 30 points in Idaho State’s last four games. Ben Wilson added 12 points for ISU (16-13, 11-6), which hadn’t won at Eastern in 13 years.
Venky Jois scored 21 points on 10-for-13 shooting to become Eastern Washington’s all-time leading scorer with 1,742 points in his career. Jois broke the 39-year-old record of 1,741 points set by Ron Cox, who came to Eastern from tiny Coulee City High, enrollment 75.
Austin McBroom scored 13 points for EWU (16-13, 10-7), and Bogdan Bliznyuk 12 with nine rebounds.
U OF I FOOTBALL Idaho opens Thursday, Sept. 1, against Montana State in the Kibbie Dome, followed by trips to Washington (Sept. 10), Washington State (Sept. 17) and UNLV (Sept. 24). The Sun Belt opener is Oct. 1 when Troy visits Idaho. The rest of the Sun Belt schedule: at Louisiana-Monroe (Oct. 8), New Mexico State (Oct. 15), at Appalachian State (Oct. 22), at Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 5), at Texas State (Nov. 12), South Alabama (Nov. 26) and Georgia State (Dec. 3).
BOISE STATE TENNIS: The Broncos (8-7) defeated UC Irvine 4-3 in San Diego.
COLLEGE OF IDAHO SWIMMING: Junior Mckayla Stevens became the first NAIA All-American in program history, winning the bronze in the 200-yard individual medley (school-record 2:07.53) on the first day of the NAIA Championships in Columbus, Ga.
C OF I INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: Tiana Thomas (Middleton High) earned All-American honors by finishing fifth in the pentathlon at the NAIA Championships in Johnson City, Tenn.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The Crusaders (12-15) lost to Montana State Billings 70-65 in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Tournament in Lacey, Wash.