The 2012 Big Sky Tournament officially began Saturday with a narrow victory and a blowout.
The Eastern Washington Eagles (15-16, 8-8) skirted elimination as the Idaho St. Bengals (9-21, 7-9) narrowly lost in the opening game of the tournament. The Bengals hung close to the Eagles through the first half, keeping within five at 37-32.
In the second half, G Kenny McGowan (28 pts, 3 reb, 5 stl) and G Melvin Morgan (22 pts, 4 reb, 3 stl) fought hard to tie the game and even briefly give the Bengals the lead, but ultimately the trio of F Laron Griffin (21 pts, 11 reb), G Jeffrey Forbes (21 pts) and G Cliff Colimon (22 pts) proved to fierce, giving the Eagels the 81-75 win.
Meanwhile, the Portland St. Vikings (17-13, 10-6) trounced the Montana St. Bobcats (12-17, 7-9) in a 75-53 evening game. The Vikings altogether shot an amazing 52.2% on their field goal attempts and landed 8 of 14 (57.1%) of their three-point volleys. And when the Bobcats bothered to foul the Vikings, they were even closer to perfect, shooting 79.2% on their 24 free throw attempts.
Here is a look at the latest bracket, courtesy of BigSkyConf.com and SB Nation: