Freshman forward Nate Sherwood scored 19 points, Victor Sanders 17 and third-seeded Idaho beat sixth-seeded Eastern Washington 77-73 in a Big Sky men’s basketball tournament quarterfinal Thursday night.
The Vandals (21-11), who won their conference tournament opener for only the second time in eight seasons under coach Don Verlin, will play No. 2 seed Montana in a semifinal Friday.
Sherwood was 9-of-10 shooting, Sanders made four 3-pointers and Pat Ingram added 12 points for Idaho, which outscored EWU 44-18 in the paint.
Venky Jois had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Felix Von Hofe made four 3-pointers, but on 12 attempts, in also scoring 17 for EWU. Austin McBroom, the conference’s leading scorer, had 12 points, all on free throws, while going 0 for 10 from the field. The Eagles (17-15) stayed in the game by making 22-of-27 free throws to Idaho’s 12-of-16.
Two 3-pointers by EWU’s Julian Harrell tied the game with 7:20 left but Idaho went on a 9-3 run to lead 71-65 with 4:15 left. Chris Sarbaugh followed his own shot for a putback and Sanders and Perrion Callandret made two free throws each to hold off EWU.
NORTH DAKOTA 83, IDAHO STATE 49
Drick Bernstine scored 14 points with a career-high 21 rebounds and fifth-seeded North Dakota crushed No. 4 seed Idaho State.
The Fighting Hawks (17-14) will face Weber State (24-8), which beat Portland State, in the semifinals Friday.
North Dakota led 10-7, then went on a 22-3 run over 9:15 and took a 46-17 advantage to the half. Idaho State, which shot 24 percent (6-of-25) in the first half, including 2-of-12 from beyond the arc, was more competitive in the second half but could never close the gap.
Adam McDermott had 16 points to lead North Dakota.
Ethan Telfair led Idaho State (16-15) with 17 points and eight steals, matching a school record. Telfair is 15th in the nation in steals per game (2.2). Geno Luzcando added 10 points for Idaho State.
The Idaho and Idaho State women play in separate semifinals Friday. Idaho (22-9) faces Eastern Washington (20-11) after knocking off Weber State 86-83 on an OT buzzer beater from Taylor Pierce on Wednesday. Idaho State (17-14) will play North Dakota (18-12).