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Around the Big Sky: Huse, Tinkle Snag Milestone Victories
Montana State’s Brad Huse and Montana's Wayne Tinkle Won Their 100th Conference Games
A weekly rundown of men's basketball news in the Big Sky Conference from Assistant Commissioner Jon Kasper:

This Week’s Highlights: Southern Utah puts its 3-0 league mark on the line as it travels to The Nest to face Sacramento State on Monday night. Sacramento State will try to even its conference mark at 2-2 … Weber State and Montana both enter the week 4-0 in conference play. Weber State hits the road to face Southern Utah on Thursday. Montana travels to North Dakota on Thursday and is at Northern Colorado on Saturday. That game will be televised live on Altitude … Northern Colorado’s home tilt on Thursday against Montana State will also be televised on Altitude. Montana State, winners of two league home games last week, is at North Dakota on Saturday … Eastern Washington returns home to face Northern Arizona on Thursday and Sacramento State on Saturday … Southern Utah plays its third game of the week on Saturday against Idaho State as Bengal coach Bill Evans makes his return to Cedar City. Evans was SUU’s head coach from 1992-2007 ... Portland State is at home on Thursday against Sacramento State and on Saturday against Northern Arizona.

100 Conference Games: It was a very good weekend for Montana State’s Brad Huse, Weber State’s Randy Rahe and Montana’s Wayne Tinkle. All three coached their 100th conference regular-season game on Saturday, and all three won. In fact, all three coaches went 2-0 last weekend. Huse led MSU to wins over Portland State and an overtime win over Eastern Washington to hike his overall conference record to 47-53. Tinkle’s Grizzlies beat EWU and PSU as he improved to 70-30 in conference games. Rahe’s Wildcats topped Northern Colorado and Weber State. Rahe, who was coaching his 200th overall game at WSU on Saturday, moved to 78-22 in conference. Rahe ranks seventh on the Big Sky’s all-time list for conference wins, one behind former Idaho and Weber State coach Joe Cravens. Tinkle moved into a tie for 10th with former UM coach Blaine Taylor. Tinkle is three conference wins away from tying Mike Montgomery for the most Big Sky wins in school history.

Still Perfect: Southern Utah remained perfect in its first season of Big Sky Conference play with a 90-77 road win over Northern Arizona on Saturday. Damon Heuir scored 30 points, the most by a Big Sky player in a game this season. He was 14-of-16 from the free-throw line. SUU shot .568 percent from the field. The Thunderbirds will try to make it 4-0 on Monday night when they travel to Sacramento State. The Thunderbirds are at home Thursday against Weber State, and play host to Idaho State on Saturday. SUU is the first “expansion” Big Sky team to win its first three conference games since Boise State started 4-0 in 1970-71.

Bengals Bust Out: Idaho State earned its first conference win for new head coach Bill Evans, downing Northern Colorado at Holt Arena 86-63 on Saturday night. Idaho State snapped a 16-game losing streak to Division I teams, which dated back to a 79-73 win over Northern Arizona on Feb. 11, 2012. Idaho State’s 86-points was a season-high. The Bengals had failed to score more than 54 points against a Division I opponent prior to Saturday. The Bengals made 15 3-pointers. Melvin Morgan scored a career-high 27 points.

RPI Report: The Big Sky moved up one spot to 29th among Division I conferences in Monday’s RPI Report. The Big Sky is just behind the Southern and ahead of the SWAC. The Big Sky’s non-conference schedule strength is ranked third overall. Weber State and Montana remain the top two teams, and despite going a combined 4-0 last week saw their RPIs drop. Weber State fell 50 spots to 143. Montana dropped 33 spots to 146. Northern Arizona is third at 185. Northern Arizona’s strength of schedule is rated 51st overall. The average RPI of NAU’s opponents is 58.

Top 10 in Sight: Northern Arizona senior Stallon Saldivar dished out 11 assists in two games last week, including eight in a loss to Southern Utah. Saldivar now has 423 career assists, which ranks 14th all-time in Big Sky history. Saldivar needs 12 more assists to move into the top 10.

Bamforth Closes in on 1,000: Weber State senior guard Scott Bamforth scored 41 points last week to hike his career total to 982. He needs just 18 to become the 27th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Bamforth made 10 3-pointers last week, giving him 184 for his career. He is tied for 20th all-time in Big Sky history.

First League Win for UND: North Dakota earned its first every league win on Jan. 3, downing Idaho State 66-53. in Pocatello. Aaron Anderson scored 19 points in the win. Troy Huff added 15. North Dakota held a 43-22 edge on the boards. It was also the first road win for North Dakota, which lost its first six on the road. North Dakota played last season in the Great West Conference.

Double-Double Duty: PSU’s Aaron Moore has recorded three consecutive double-doubles. Since Portland State joined the Big Sky Conference in 1996-97, Seamus Boxley has the most double-doubles in a career (23, 2000-05) and Chehales Tapscott has the most in one season (13, 2011-12). However, neither player ever had more than three in a row. Boxley accomplished the feat three times. Tapscott never had more than two double-doubles in a row - though he did that several times. No Viking has ever had four straight double-doubles in the Big Sky era, but Moore has a shot at that against Sacramento State on Thursday.

Stats & Streaks: Montana has won 19 straight regular-season conference home games, and 21 in a row overall against Big Sky teams at Dahlberg Arena. UM has won 15 straight conference games dating back to an 80-64 loss to Weber State on Jan. 14, 2012 ... Weber State played its 500th game at the Dee Events Center on Saturday, a 95-63 win over UND. WSU is 399-101 all-time at the Dee ... WSU has won 10 straight regular-season conference home games ... NAU has surpassed its conference win total from last season, and matched its total victories from 2011-12 ... Montana State has won three straight games for the first time since winning four in a row in January of 2012 ... Weber State’s average margin of victory in its last three games is 40.7 points.
 
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