Idaho 75, Idaho St. 69
The Vandals snapped a five-game losing streak in Pocatello, beating in-state rival Idaho State in a Ramada BracketBusters tilt. Idaho trailed by one point at halftime but outscored the Bengals 47-40 in the second half. For Idaho, sophomore Connor Hill scored a career-high 22 points, and four consecutive 3-pointers during a 16-5 run helped the Vandals reclaim the lead for good. It was the 101st time the schools have met. UTSA 76, Nicholls St. 58
The Roadrunners won their second straight game, beating the less competitive Colonels in a BracketBuster match-up. UTSA benefited from three players scoring more than 15 points a piece, led by Kannon Burrage’s 17. Jeromie Hill and Michael Hale III each scored 16 points. Hill grabbed 12 boards for the Roadrunners, which would serve as a career high for him. UTSA hit six of its first seven 3-point attempts but would end up going just 9-of-23 from 3-point range.
UC Irvine 77, UTA 70
WAC teams won six of seven games played Saturday, and Texas-Arlington was the only team to fall in BracketBuster play. The loss was UTA’s first in six games and was just the fifth time the Mavericks have lost out of conference. Adam Folker and Will Davis II each scored 16 points to help propel the Anteaters to their fourth consecutive victory. The two combined to go 14 for 21 from the field and UC Irvine would shoot 52 percent as a team while holding UTA to just 35 percent.
Texas State 74, Lamar 61
The Bobcats broke out of a five-game slump, slamming Lamar in a BracketBuster game hosted in Beaumont, Texas. Joel Wright scored 27 points for the Bobcats, who also had double-digit contributions from Matt Staff (12 pts) and Deonte’ Jones (19 pts). Staff had 12 rebounds but wasn’t the game’s leading rebounder, as Lamar’s Stan Brown would pull down 14 rebounds to go along with 16 points. The former Southland Conference rivals met for the first time in a non-conference game since 1950. Lamar still holds a 29-26 series lead.
Denver 63, Northern Iowa 57
The Pioneers managed to upend their Missouri Valley Conference foe, who had won six straight games prior to the teams’ BracketBusters game. Denver also carried a six-game streak into the game, and with four starters scoring in double digits, the Pioneers were able to make that seven wins. The visiting Pioneers were outrebounded by a 28-18 margin but shot at a 50 percent clip and made 13 of 14 free-throw attempts. The teams’ benches scored just seven combined points and Denver’s starting five was one point shy from five starters in double figures.
New Mexico State 55, UTEP 51
A balanced affair at the Pan American Center turned New Mexico State’s way, despite the lead changing 12 times in the game. Only three players scored in double figures, and a defensive first half saw the score sit at 17-14 in favor of NMSU. The balanced Aggies got 10 points from Bandja Sy and 11 from Kevin Aronis, who went 4-of-6 from the field. McKenzie Moore led the effort for the Miners, scoring 10 points in a game that saw 28 combined turnovers.
Utah State 80, Illinois State 71
The Aggies were able to withstand a 35-point, 10-rebound outing from the Redbirds’ Tyler Brown in a BracketBuster game played at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan. Jarred Shaw led Utah State with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Aggies’ 19th season victory. The hosts also saw Spencer Butterfield score 16 points, while TeNale Roland had 13 and Marvin Jean had another 10. Jackie Carmichael had the game’s third double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Theo Lawson can be reached at email@example.com
Idaho 75, Idaho St. 69