CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS VIDEO FROM A MOBILE DEVICEStory by Steve Schaack- ISU Media Relations
POCATELLO, Idaho- The Idaho State men’s basketball team posted their first win of the season against Montana Western 70-52 Thursday night in front of a crowd of 1,796 fans at ICCU Court at Holt Arena. This marks Bill Evans’ first win as head coach of the Bengals.
Sophomore forward Chris Hansen led the Bengals in scoring with a career-high 20 points. Hansen was five-for-nine from the field, four-for-five from beyond the three-point arc and six-for-six from the free throw line while playing 34 minutes.
Tomas Sanchez added a season and career high 17 points and three steals in 34 minutes.
“He got very aggressive, more aggressive then I have seen him,” Evans said on Sanchez. “We have a couple of guys who I think can score. Chris can score. Melvin can score but we need to find another guy. Tonight Tomas was that guy.”
Senior guard Melvin Morgan earned a double-double on the night with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Junior center Avibakuro Preh had a career and season high five blocks in the game.
“I thought we played well the first half and not quite as well in the second half,” Evans said. “We wanted to come out and equal what we did in the first half but I am not disappointed. I think our guys competed hard.”
The Bengals shot 43.1 percent from the field (22-for-51) and 40 percent from the 3-point line (6-for-15). Idaho State forced 17 turnovers and held Montana Western to 33.3 percent shooting from the field. Idaho State converted the 17 Bulldog turnovers into 30 points. ISU also had 28 points in the paint.
After Montana Western scored the opening basket of the game, Idaho State led the rest of the game and led by as many as 23 points at 62-39 with 3:40 left in the game.
“We scored 70 points and were a little more aggressive offensively,” Evans said. “Tomas was more aggressive and Chris made some shots. It always helps when you make shots. It makes defending a lot easier.”
Idaho State led 36-17 at halftime and held the Bulldogs to 24 percent shooting from the field.
Idaho State returns to the court on December 8 for a contest at Oregon.