IDAHO, Idaho — The Idaho State basketball team is out of the Big Sky Conference and the team will be forced to look for a replacement for one of its top players in 2017-18.
The team lost its only remaining home game to Northern Arizona in the Idaho Challenge Cup, an independent tournament played annually in the state of Idaho.
The Huskies were unable to win their fifth straight title and its first since 2010.
That was also the last time the Huskies had a conference tournament title.
Coach Mike White said the team had not had a full offseason to prepare for a bowl game and could not expect a win this season.
It was the third straight year that the team failed to reach a bowl and the seventh time it has missed the bowl since joining the Big Ten in 2011.
The loss will be a huge blow for the Husky program and could impact the future of the program.
The season started with a bang, but it hasn’t gone the way most expected, said senior guard Aaron Carter.
He led the team in scoring with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Ben Brown had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior forward Kyle Allen scored 11 points and freshman guard Connor Murphy had 12 points.
The teams last meeting, a 74-71 win at Boise State on Jan. 23, was the last one for both teams in the league.
The Huskies won the last meeting by a score of 70-66.
In the first game after the bowl, the Huskers took the lead on a 3-pointer by Brown with 3:03 left.
Brown was fouled and had a chance to put Idaho back ahead but missed a 3 as the clock ticked down.
Brown finished with 13 points and six rebounds.
The next possession ended in a turnover.
Idaho was up 72-68 with 2:55 left.
The next possession was tied at 68 and the Husker led by five with 2 minutes left.
Idaho tied it again with a 3, but a missed free throw from Brown put Idaho up 70-67.
The game was in overtime when the Huskies shot 54 percent from the field.
It went to overtime at 70-68.
The teams shot a combined 40 percent for the final 15 minutes of the game.
The Bulldogs shot 58 percent for most of the first half, but the Husks shot just 38 percent.
The two teams split their remaining regular-season games in the last seven years.
The NCAA tournament is scheduled for June 15 in Minneapolis.