Cats Cruise Over Sacramento State - News, Sports and Weather

Cats Cruise Over Sacramento State

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BOZEMAN, Mont. – Montana State's 70-55 win over Sacramento State to open Big Sky Conference play may not have gone exactly as Bobcat coach Brad Huse expected Thursday, but he'll take it. 

"I'm not sure that's the formula I wanted, shooting 29 threes, but the fact that we made as many as we did is good," MSU's head coach said. "That's not something that we want to hinge our fortune on, but it's good the ball was dropping for the most part. Sometimes that's what you get when you move the basketball."

Montana State's 13 three-pointers matched its season high – the previous 13-trey effort came against NAIA opponent Southwestern Christian two weeks ago – and the team's 45% shooting night from the arc was the team's second-best game against a Division I opponent this season. Senior Calen Coleman (3-9), sophomore Marcus Colbert (3-7) and freshman Stephan Holm (3-4) led the three-point barrage.

Huse may not order up that quantity of treys on a nightly basis, but the quality of the team's long balls was hard to argue with. "I thought we had some nice possessions, we really shared the ball and got some (good) shots late in possessions and knocked them down," he said. "Transition got us going a little bit. We have some really good shooters. It wasn't the plan coming in, it's not something we want to live by every night, but it's good that we were scoring." 

The Bobcats held Sacramento State to 38% shooting from the floor and 30% marksmanship from three-point land, figures that pleased Huse. "(Sac State) is a hard team to guard defensively, they know where they want to go with the basketball… We worked hard to make it tough on them when they did shoot it. They had some shots on the basket that didn't drop, but generally our effort was good and I thought we utilized our depth well. Guys stepped up when their time came." 

I think a big factor was McKinney getting in foul trouble in the first half. He probably couldn't be as aggressive as he wanted to be. He's a great player and a tremendous playmaker, and that played to our favor. 

All 10 Bobcats contributed, and Huse liked his team's broad-based, team-oriented attack. "I thought we shared it well and took pretty good care of the basketball," he said. "Guys were conscientious about making the extra pass. As long as we stay with that formula we'll be fine.  When they get going (offensively) like that and they're having fun, that's what I want. I want our guys to relax and enjoy playing. To me, that's what I feel as good about as anything." 

Huse liked his team's start to the Big Sky Conference season. "We're at home and it's good to get that one, but it's just one of a lot of a lot of games in the league. It gives us some confidence moving forward, but we have a real tough team coming in shortly, less than 48 hours. There's not a lot of time to sit around and celebrate and enjoy it, but it feels good to get that first win." 

Montana State hosts Northern Arizona, which upset Montana 73-65 in Missoula Thursday, at 7:05 pm in Worthington Arena on Saturday.


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