Big Sky Conference Men's Basketball - Saturday 1/4 - News, Sports and Weather

Griz and Cats Men's Basketball - Saturday 1/4

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MISSOULA, MONTANA  – Junior guards Jordan Gregory and Keron DeShields combined for 37 points and senior guard/forward Kareem Jamar chipped in 14, as the University of Montana Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento State Hornets 82-70 Saturday night in a Big Sky Conference game in UM's Dahlberg Arena.

It was a nip-and-tuck contest in the opening 16-plus minutes, with Montana holding a slim 24-23 lead with 3:37 left in the first half.  But the Griz (1-1/5-4) out-scored the Hornets 13-4 over the next three-and-a-half minutes to take a 37-27 lead at halftime. 

It was more of the same results in the second half, but the Hornets (0-2/4-7) did make a comeback bid and cut the Grizzlies' lead to six points with 7:05 left to play on a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Zach Mills, making the score 61-55, UM.

But after Mills' trey Montana out-scored Sacramento State 14-0, and when Griz junior forward Chris Kemp followed an offensive rebound with a dunk, the Griz led 70-55 with 4:15 remaining in the game and they maintained a substantial lead the rest of the way.  UM's largest lead was by 18 points twice in the final half at 76-58 and 79-61. 

Montana has now won five of its last six games.

Gregory scored a game-high 20 points and DeShields tallied 17.  Gregory was 6-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line, and had 3 assists and 2 steals.   DeShields made 7-of-10 shots from the floor and was 1-of-1n from the stripe. 

Kemp made 5-of-8 from the floor and tied his career-high with 10 points, and he pulled down a team and career-high 7 rebounds, and also had a career-best 3 steals.  Jamar made 5-of-8 shots and had a game-high 6 assists.

Jamar now has 1,320 career points which ranks him 10th in school history, and he needs just two more points to pass former center Ken McKenzie (1,321 points, 1973-74) to move up to ninth.  Jamar is now tied for 10th in career assists with 339 with Tony Reed , who had 339 assists from 1985-89.

Mills led the Hornets with 14 points, while junior guard Mikh McKinney had 11, and senior forward Jordan Salley added 10 points and grabbed 6 boards off the bench.

Montana is on the road next week for a pair of Big Sky games, playing at Eastern Washington on Thursday, Jan. 9, and at Portland State on Saturday, Jan. 11.  The Hornets are at Northern Arizona and at Southern Utah next week.

SACRAMENTO STATE (4-7, 0-2 BSC): MILLS, Zach 5-10 2-2 14; McKINNEY, Mikh 4-10 3-7 11; SALLEY, Jordan 4-4 2-3 10; RADA, Case 3-9 0-0 9; GARRITY, Dylan 3-8 2-2 9; QUIGLEY, Joey 3-3 0-0 7; TIFFIN, Alex 2-3 1-2 5; DEMPS, Cody 2-5 1-2 5; STUTEVILLE, Eric 0-0 0-0 0; HORNSBY, Nick 0-0 0-0 0; BARLETT, Dreon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-52 11-18 70.

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA (6-5, 1-1 BSC): GREGORY, Jordan 6-11 6-6 20; DESHIELDS, Keron 7-10 1-1 17; JAMAR, Kareem 5-8 3-6 14; KEMP, Chris 5-8 0-0 10; WEISNER, Mike 3-6 1-1 7; HUTCHISON, Eric 1-2 5-5 7; DUNN, Mario 1-2 2-2 4; MARTIN, Andy 1-1 1-2 3; GFELLER, Brandon 0-1 0-0 0; LOPEZ, Jack 0-0 0-0 0; BRADSHAW, Riley 0-0 0-0 0; EMERSON, Nick 0-1 0-0 0; YOUNG, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-50 19-23 82.

Sacramento State.................. 27 43 - 70

University of Montana......... 37 45 - 82

3-point goals--Sacramento State 7-23 (RADA, Case 3-8; MILLS, Zach 2-5; QUIGLEY, Joey 1-1; GARRITY, Dylan 1-5; DEMPS, Cody 0-2; McKINNEY, Mikh 0-2), University of Montana 5-16 (DESHIELDS, Keron 2-5; GREGORY, Jordan 2-5; JAMAR, Kareem 1-3; EMERSON, Nick 0-1; WEISNER, Mike 0-2).

Fouled out--Sacramento State-None, University of Montana-None.

Rebounds--Sacramento State 28 (SALLEY, Jordan 6), University of Montana 25 (KEMP, Chris 7).

Assists--Sacramento State 10 (GARRITY, Dylan 4), University of Montana 12 (JAMAR, Kareem 6).

Total fouls--Sacramento State 18, University of Montana 18. Technical fouls--Sacramento State-None, University of Montana-None.

Attendance: 3,647.


BOZEMAN, Mont. – Sometimes it's your night, and from early in Montana State's 68-66 win over Northern Arizona Saturday Michael Dison had that feeling.

"I was just glad I came through for my team," Dison said after hitting a buzzer-beating floater from about 10 feet to give MSU the win.

Dison finished with a career-high 18 points, which included nine points in succession in the game's first four minutes to give MSU an early11-5 lead. "You go 4-for-4 on your first four shots, you think, I could have good night. I just tried to stay focused in and good things happened."

He also made a game-changing play on drawing a charge whenLumberjack guard Kris Yanku penetrated the lane to give the Bobcats possession with just under six seconds remaining and the game tied at 64. MSU's junior guard from Houston knew drawing the charge involved risk. "I was kind of hesitant on taking it, could have been a block and we were both in the bonus.But it worked out."

MSU held the lead built on Edison's early spurt through much of the game, and after trailing early in the second half had reconstructed six-point cushion with 3:46 to play when Paul Egwuonwu hit a layup. But AaseemDixon followed with two of his 18 points for the Lumberjacks, and when Yankuhit a three-pointer at 1:55 and a layup a minute later NAU led 66-64.

But Flavien Davis hit a leaner in the paint for the last of his game-high 19 points to tie the game with 32 seconds left to set up Dison'slate-game heroics. "The good thing about us is that could be anybody," the MSUjunior guard said. "Anybody on this team could produce the type of game I had,a career night. That's the beauty of our team, we have so much depth."

Davis became MSU's go-to player during the second half, when he scored 17 points. "It's not necessarily that I needed to score, it was what my team needed me to do," Davis said. "Like Mike said about our team, one of the best things about it is our depth. Tonight it just so happened that it was me and Mike's night. When Coach draws up a play for you, you need to put it in the basket."

With the game tied in the last half-minute, NAU ran the shot clock inside 10 seconds and Yanku penetrated from the high left angle. Disongot in position, and took the charge to give the Bobcats possession. During the ensuing time out, Huse called for Dison to receive the inbound pass and get as far up-court as he could.

"Mike was the hottest offensive player on the perimeter –Flavien had a great second half, too – and he made a heck of a shot, a heck of a play. He just went and did it," Huse said.

The Bobcats built a 26-16 lead late in the first half whenNorthern Arizona rallied. Gaellen Bewernick hit a three-pointer and a layup in succession, and a triple by Max Jacobsen pulled the Lumberjacks to within two with 33 seconds in the half. After running the clock inside five, Davis hit a layup on Egwuonwu's dish as time expired.

That play didn't stem NAU's momentum. In all, theLumberjacks used an 18-4 run sandwiching halftime to take a four-point lead,34-30, two minutes into the second stanza. "I thought the way the first half ended and the second half started was not in our favor," Huse said. "They have a lot of confidence and a very talented group. They were playing that way." The teams played back-and-forth basketball until consecutive layups by Davis andEgwuonwu gave MSU its six point lead with 3:46 to play.

The game's even and contested nature didn't surprise Huse."Tonight we answered the bell with one more play at the end," he said.

And for the record, Dison knew that game-winning play was good coming out of his hand. "I put a nice little touch on it, so I was pretty excited," he said with a smile.

The Bobcats play at Portland State on Thursday before visitingEastern Washington Saturday. MSU is now 7-6 on the season, 2-0 in Big Sky play.The Lumberjacks fall to 4-9, and stand 1-1 in the league after splitting theMontana trip.


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