Big Sky Conference Wrap, Saturday 2/8 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Big Sky Conference Basketball Wrap, Saturday 2/8

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Montana holds off Eastern Washington 82-77

Kareem Jamar scored 23 points - 14 in the second half - and Montana held off Eastern Washington 82-77 on Saturday night.

Montana missed 3 free throws in the final minute and Eastern Washington responded by scoring nine points to close within three with 4 seconds remaining. Keron DeShields knocked down both of his free throws for Montana's final possession to seal it for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies (12-9, 7-5 Big Sky) closed out the first half on an 11-5 run after leading by just three, and entered the break ahead 41-32. They opened the second half on a 7-0 run as the Eagles went 4:08 without a basket.

Tyler Harvey led Eastern Washington (10-13, 5-7) with 24 points after making all 11 shots from the free-throw line and Drew Brandon added 19.

Montana knocked down 10 3-pointers and shot 41.7 percent from distance.

 

Lady Griz Winning Streak Stopped at Five

For the second time on its two-game road trip, Montana found itself facing a sizeable halftime deficit Saturday afternoon. This time there would be no comeback.

Eastern Washington shot 46.9 percent and held Montana's two leading scorers to a single field goal in the Eagles' 71-61 victory at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.

Eastern (11-10, 7-5 BSC) built a 19-5 lead through the opening 10 minutes and never trailed in the game. All five Eastern Washington starters reached double figures.

No one was a bigger fan of the result than North Dakota (16-6, 11-2 BSC), which defeated Idaho State 64-59 in overtime in Grand Forks Saturday. Montana's loss gives UND a two-and-a-half game lead on the rest of the Big Sky Conference with just four weekends of league games remaining.

The Lady Griz (14-7, 8-4 BSC) had their five-game winning streak come to an end, while the Eagles extended their own winning streak to three. Montana remains alone in second place, a half-game ahead of Southern Utah, which defeated Sacramento State 93-74 Saturday.

Eastern Washington raced out to leads of 11-2 and 19-5 in a manner not usually allowed by Montana. The Eagles scored 12 first-half points and 16 for the game via the fast break.

"The first half was the key today. They came out and were a step quicker than us," said UM coach Robin Selvig.

"They got a whole bunch of transitions. They're down there getting a shot up before we're back turned around and ready to go. That's something we have great pride in not giving up, and we gave up way too many of those tonight."

Senior Torry Hill scored 10 first-half points to keep the Lady Griz close, but a Melissa Williams put-back on an offensive rebound at the buzzer gave Eastern Washington a 35-25 halftime lead.

Montana trailed Portland State 33-25 at the half on Thursday before rallying for a 65-55 victory. The Lady Griz scored 36 second-half points on Saturday, but they couldn't slow Eastern Washington enough to make a serious run.

Montana's best chance came after cutting a 15-point deficit to seven, 57-50, with seven minutes left. The Lady Griz got open 3-pointers for freshman Kayleigh Valley and sophomore McCalle Feller that could have cut the lead to four, but both were off the mark, and the Eagles scored the next five points to end the threat.

"We kept making little runs and hanging in, and I thought maybe we were going to have a chance to sneak this one out, but they made enough shots," Selvig said.

That Montana scored 61 points and had four players in double figures is a credit to the team's depth on a day when junior Kellie Cole and senior Jordan Sullivan, Montana's leading scorers, were limited to four points between them on 1-of-14 shooting.

Cole, who was held scoreless after scoring in double figures the previous 12 games, played just five second-half minutes and 22 for the game because of a foot injury suffered in the first half.

Hill finished with a team-high 15 points, and Feller hit three 3-pointers off the bench to score a career-high 13 points. Juniors Carly Selvig and Maggie Rickman both had 10 points on combined 10-of-16 shooting, with Rickman matching a career high with nine rebounds.

"We picked up the slack a little bit, and offensively I thought we had enough points to win today," Selvig said. "It was their 71 points and their transition baskets that were the difference."

Former Lady Griz Lexie Nelson led Eastern, which had just eight turnovers, with 19 points.

Montana, which is 6-0 at home in Big Sky games and now 2-4 on the road, will host Northern Colorado and North Dakota next week before playing four straight on the road.

In other league games Saturday, Northern Colorado won 70-63 at home over Weber State and Portland State won 72-61 at home over Montana State.

 

Montana State edges Portland State 69-64

Paul Egwuonwu scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Montana State to a 69-64 victory over Portland State Saturday night.

Stephan Holm added 15 points for the Bobcats (11-12, 6-6 Big Sky). Marcus Colbert scored 14 and Flavien Davis 10.

MSU opened with a 16-6 run but Portland State responded with a 22-5 run to lead 28-21 at 6:40 in the first. The game was tied 32-32 at halftime.

The Vikings struck again to open the second, taking the lead on a Gary Winston layup to open the half then running the score to 45-37. With the Vikings holding onto a 55-51 edge, the Bobcats mounted a 12-0 run to retake lead, 63-55, with 3:17 left. Holm, Colbert and Antonio Biglow combined for 6 of 6 from the line in the final minutes for the win.

Kyle Richardson had 11 points with 11 rebounds for PSU (11-10, 6-6)

 

Bobcat Women Drop Saturday Matinee` at Portland State

The Montana State women's basketball team couldn't get a shot to fall in the first half and its rally from a 24-point deficit in the second stanza proved insurmountable as Portland State handed the Bobcats its fifth straight loss with a 72-61 decision over MSU, Saturday afternoon in the Stott Center.

Montana State (11-10, 6-6) shot 26 percent in the opening period, including an icy 22 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Portland State (6-15, 4-8) used a 16-0 run to pull away from the Bobcats midway through the period as MSU went without a basket for almost nine-minutes. The Vikings held a 31-19 advantage at intermission.

"We missed some shots at the start and we tensed up," MSU head coach Tricia Binford said. "We're struggling with some confidence, but that's on ourselves. This team knows it has the ability; we just need to get back to where we were a month ago.

"On the positive side, I thought we had a much better effort on the defensive end," Binford said. "I have never had to question our effort."

MSU found itself down 24 points at the 10:48 mark of the second half, before rattling off a 29-12 run down the stretch to close to within 68-61 with just under a minute remaining. PSU closed out the game hitting four-of-six free throws.

"We got into scramble mode and started hitting some three-pointers," Binford said. "We're still impatient with the offense and need to work the second and third side."

Jasmine Hommes paced MSU with 15 points, while redshirt-freshman Margreet Barhoum recorded a career-high 13 points. Alexa Dawkins came off the bench to lead the Bobcats under the glass with a career-best and game-high ten rebounds.

Portland State had three players in double-figures led by Emily Easom with 27 points.

Montana State will host Big Sky Conference-leading North Dakota on Thursday night. MSU defeated UND earlier this season 76-65 in Grand Forks.

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