MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Akbar Abdul-Ahad scored 26 points Thursday to lead Idaho State to a 79-69 victory over Montana.
The Bengals (10-8, 5-0 Big Sky) remained perfect in league play while Montana (8-10, 2-3) saw its 14-game home conference win streak come to an end.Matt Dlouhy sparked the Grizzlies with 27 points, including 7-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, and eight rebounds.Idaho State, behind the sharp shooting of Abdul-Ahad and David Schroeder, who chipped in with 22 points, shot 57 percent from the field and made 7-of-14 3-point attempts.Montana cut the Idaho State lead to nine points three times in the final two minutes of the game -- the last on a 3-pointer by Cameron Rundles with 25 seconds left. Montana was forced to foul and the Bengals made 7-of-10 free throws in the final minutes to keep the game out of reach.The Grizzlies raced out to an early 18-7 lead with less than five minutes gone in the opening half, nailing their first four 3-point tries. But Idaho State whittled away at the lead, taking a 24-23 lead on a jump shot by John Ofoegbu with 7:38 to play in the half.Montana cut the Bengal lead to 37-33 on a 3-pointer by Dlouhy, with 1:35 to play in the half. But a field goal by Logan Kinghorn with 1:05 left sent the Bengals into the locker room with a 39-33 halftime lead.In the second half, the Grizzlies scored the first four points on layups by Dlouhy and Jordan Hasquet to pull to 39-37 with 18:56 to play.But Montana would come no closer as Idaho State stretched the lead to as much as 66-49 when Ofoegbu hit a free throw with 6:34 to play.Ofoegbu added 12 points for Idaho State while Nicholas Rhodes grabbed 13 rebounds.Hasquet added 14 points for Montana while Matt Martin scored 10 of his 13 points in the first eight minutes of the game. Montana's leading scorer, Andrew Strait, was held to four points -- 11 below his season average.