Idaho took a double-digit lead in the first half, but Montana stormed back to take a lead of its own late in the frame. Idaho would close the half strong, leveling the score at 35 at the break.
Again, Idaho would build an early lead, getting up by as many as eight, but Montana figured things out and gradually chipped away. The Griz were able to tie the game on one occasion, at 60, midway through the half, but Idaho was on top for most of the second.
Then things got crazy. Nate Sherwood gave Idaho a four-point lead with two minutes to play on his second 3-pointer of the night, but Montana’s Ahmaad Rorie answered with a 3-ball of his own on the other end. After a couple of missed shots on both ends, Montana’s Fabijan Krslovic went to the line with 46 seconds to play. The senior would make the first and miss the second, tying the game at 71.
The Montana defense stepped up on the other end, forcing a contested difficult shot that went begging. The Idaho defense followed suit, forcing overtime.
The extra period was much of the same, with neither team able to take much control. Brayon Blake would give Idaho a one-point lead with an and-one two minutes in, but Montana tied it up on the next possession. The Vandals then looked to Trevon Allen, who knocked down the clutch 3-pointer with 93 seconds to play.
After a free throw from Montana and a missed shot from Blake, the Griz were able to tie it up at 77 on a jumper with 30 seconds to play.
With Sanders on the bench, the Vandals ran out the clock, then went to Blake. He attacked the basket, getting off a good look with two seconds to play, but it rimmed out. Nate Sherwood was in perfect position, tipping in the game-winner as the final horn sounded.