Big Sky Conference Basketball Wrap, Thursday 2/13 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Big Sky Conference Basketball Wrap, Thursday 2/13

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Thursday night's coverage of the Montana and Montana State basketball programs:

UM MEN FALL AT UNC

Guard Tevin Svihovec scored a season-high 21 points to lead the host University of Northern Colorado Bears to an 89-86 overtime win over the University of Montana Grizzlies Thursday evening in a Big Sky Conference shoot-out in UNC's Butler Hancock Sports Pavilion.

The Bears took the first lead at 79-77 in overtime with 3:33 left to play on a lay-up by junior guard/forward Tim Huskisson. The Griz answered, though, and tied the game for the 12th and final time on a driving lay-up by junior guard Keron DeShields with 3:05 remaining. However, Northern Colorado took the lead for good on its next possession, when Svihovec made one of two free throws with 2:58 to go, giving the Bears an 80-79 edge.

The Griz cut the Bears' lead to one point two more times in the final half-minute of play, with the last one coming with 14 seconds left on two free throws by DeShields, which made the score 87-86 Bars. UNC freshman guard Jordan Wilson then converted two free throws to put the UNC up 89-86 with 10 seconds to go. Montana junior guard Jordan Gregory's long, last-second three-point shot to force a second overtime was just off the mark, and with the setback UM is now to 1-2 in overtime games this season.

UNC (8-5 in the Big Sky/14-8 overall) had lost its previous four league games in a row, while Montana (7-6/12-10) had won four straight.

"That was a tough one," said Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle on the post-game interview on KGVO Radio. "It was just a shame. It shouldn't have gone down to the end like it did. If we defend we win the game. We didn't put up a fight defensively in the second half, and that's what cost us the game. But, I am proud of the way our guys hung in there and battled."

The Griz had to overcome an 11-point (UNC led 60-49 with 13:13 to go) second half deficit, but could never re-take its halftime lead (39-37) in the second stanza. Griz junior forward Mike Weisner nailed a crucial three-pointer with 1:07 left in regulation to tie the score at 77-77 to force the extra period.

Montana's versatile senior guard/forward Kareem Jamar had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his long three-point attempt at the buzzer was bounced off the back of the rim to force the game to overtime.

Jamar led the Griz with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. He has now scored 20 or more points in eight of UM's last 10 games. He scored just 5 points in eight minutes of action in the first half, after picking up two early fouls.

Also in double figures for UM was DeShields with 20 points, Gregory added 14, and Weisner had 12points – all of them coming in the second half. Griz senior center Eric Hutchison scored 8 points and tied his career-high with 7 rebounds.

UNC senior forward Derrick Barden added 17 points for the Bears, while Huskisson scored 12, and Wilson added 11.

The Grizzlies are at North Dakota, Saturday, Feb. 15 in a game that tips off at 1:05 p.m. (Mtn.). UND lost 78-70 at home to Montana State this evening. UNC hosts MSU on Saturday.

BOBCAT MEN GET ROAD WIN AT NORTH DAKOTA

On a night studded with outstanding individual performances,Montana State coach Brad Huse was eager to talk about the aggregate after hisBobcats earned a 78-70 win at North Dakota Thursday.

"We played great team basketball tonight," Huse said of thevictory that countered North Dakota's 72-69 in Bozeman last month. "The guyswere really determined to win this game."

No one was more determined than senior forward FlavienDavis, who led the Bobcats with 19 points while grabbing five rebounds. GuardMarcus Colbert scored 16 points, while center Paul Egwuonwu added 10 points andeight rebounds.

Keyed by a couple of Stephan Holm three-pointers and two bigplays by Eric Norman, the Bobcats used a 15-3 run mid-way through the firsthalf to seize control of the game. Norman hit an and-one three-point play at11:28 to give the Cats a 15-12 lead, then Holm hit a three-pointer after a TroyHuff turnover for an 18-12 lead.

A jumper and a pair of free throws by Antonio Biglow twominutes later pushed the Bobcat lead to 10, and when Paul Egwuonwu converted alayup on a dish from Biglow at 6:04 Montana State held a 27-15 lead. The Catscarried a 36-25 lead into the intermission.

MSU held its double-digit lead through the first 10 minutesof the second half, but a three-pointer by Quinton Hooker followed by an AaronAnderson triple cut MSU's lead to 55-50 at the 8:31 mark. A Stefan Cole layupat 8:01 stretched the UND run to 8-0 before four free throws and a layup byFlavien Davis pushed the Bobcat lead back to nine.

In spite of three-pointers by Huff, Anderson and Lenny Antwiin the last four minutes, MSU was able to withstand North Dakota's closingpush. Solid ball-handling and key baskets by Biglow and Colbert, along withnearly-flawless free throw shooting, allowed the Cats to hold on.

"We made clutch free throws and shots coming down thestretch," Huse said. "They made a big run at us, which we knew they wouldbecause of their veterans, but we were able to hold them off."

The Bobcats hit 11 of their 12 free throws in the game'sfinal minute. In fact, in the final 7:19 of the game MSU hit four of its sixfield goal attempts and was 12-for-15 from the line. For the game, the Bobcatsshot 52.4%, the team's second-best mark against a Division I opponent thisseason, and 58% after halftime. MSU also out-rebounded North Dakota 30-28,helping to counter 17 Bobcat turnovers, matching the season-high.

The win raises Montana State's league record to 7-6, thesame as Montana and North Dakota. Saturday's Bobcat opponent, NorthernColorado, is 8-5 after a home overtime win against the Grizzlies on Thursday,along with NAU, who defeated Portland State in Portland. MSU and the Bears tipoff at 7 pm Saturday.

BOBCAT WOMEN KNOCK OFF FIRST PLACE NORTH DAKOTA

After being mired in a five-game losing streak, facing Big Sky Conference-leading North Dakota was just the breath of fresh air Montana State needed as the Bobcats knocked-off UND 78-67, Thursday night in front of 1,254 fans in Worthington Arena.

"Our kids had plenty of confidence heading into the game, because they knew they could get the job done," MSU head coach Tricia Binford said, referring to MSU's 76-65 win over North Dakota in Grand Forks on Jan. 18. "We showed a lot of fight and I'm proud with the toughness we possessed for the entire game."

Montana State (12-10, 7-6) sophomore Jasmine Hommes put the Bobcats on her back in the opening period, scoring 17 points on eight-of-11 from the field. MSU took the largest lead of the half at four points on a Hommes jumper at the 4:04 mark. North Dakota (16-7, 11-3) closed out the stanza on an 8-2 run to take a 33-31 advantage at intermission.

"When we played UND at their place, I think we were down by the same deficit," Binford said. "We knew if we could get out in transition and run, we could wear them down. I thought Ausha (Cole) did a great job establishing the tempo."

North Dakota came out of halftime scoring the first nine points to take its biggest lead of the game at 42-31 at the 17:31 mark on a layup via Mia Loyd. MSU countered with a 16-4 run sparked by 5-8 freshman Margreet Barhoum's layup over UND's 6-5 center Emily Evers to give the Bobcats a 47-46 lead with 13:41 remaining.

"I thought we did a great job moving the ball and getting to the rack," Hommes said. "The plan was to keep attacking. We had great energy before, during and after the game."

The Bobcats used a 15-6 run at the midway point of the final period and Barhoum's three-pointer from the top of the arc at the 6:21 mark gave MSU a double-digit lead. UND never challenged down the stretch as MSU opened up a 15-point cushion on three occasions.

Hommes finished with a game-high 20 points, while senior Ashley Brumwell added 16 points- 12 coming in the second half. Junior Kalli Durham sparked MSU's scoring runs in the second half with a pair of three-pointers to finish with 12 points as the Bobcats shot a whopping 65 percent from the field in the final twenty minutes.

Cole finished with eight points and seven assists, while Kayla DeWit and Barhoum chipped in eight and seven points, respectively, coming off the bench.

UND won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding MSU 38-30. The Bobcats were led under the glass by Brumwell with six rebounds, while DeWit and Jackie Elliott hauled down five each.

North Dakota had four players in double-figures as Evers, Madi Buck and Leah Szabla all finished with 11 points.

Montana State will host Northern Colorado on Saturday at 2 p.m.

GRIZ WOMEN HOLD OFF NORTHERN COLORADO

Montana withstood a Northern Colorado rally that cut whathad been a 15-point, second-half lead to zero to emerge with a 61-55 victoryover the Bears Thursday night at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula.

The Lady Griz, who won for the 14th straight time at homeover a Big Sky Conference opponent, built a 14-point first-half lead and led44-29 midway through the second half before UNC began its comeback.

The Lady Griz (15-7, 9-4 BSC) went eight minutes with asingle field goal, and that allowed Northern Colorado (12-11, 6-8 BSC) to comeall the way back and tie the score at 49-49 on two Kim Lockridge free throwswith 2:27 remaining.

On Montana's next possession, senior Jordan Sullivan hita jumper from the left baseline to give the Lady Griz the lead.

On the other end, junior Carly Selvig came up with asteal at the high post and fed senior Torry Hill near midcourt. Hill passedahead to junior Kellie Cole, who converted a driving layup while gettingfouled. Her free throw gave Montana a 54-49 lead with 1:25 to play.

The Lady Griz went 5 for 6 from the line in the finalminute to hold on to their advantage.

"We had given the lead away and hadn't scored for a longtime, so Jordan's was a huge shot," UM coach Robin Selvig said. "Then Kelliehad a great finish off Torry's pass. That was the play of the day."

Cole, who was held without a point in Montana's lastgame, a 71-61 loss at Eastern Washington, scored a game-high 18 points. Shealso added nine rebounds and four assists. Hill had 11 points, eight assistsand no turnovers, with three steals.

Aiding Northern Colorado's comeback was Montana's2-for-18 (.111) effort from 3-point range. A 36.1 percent shooting team from3-point range entering the game, the Lady Griz went 1 for 9 in the first halfand 1 for 9 in the second, and they were all clean looks.

"We couldn't make a three tonight," Selvig said. "I likedall the threes. I don't think we took any bad ones. All we had to do was make acouple and we're in great shape. But we still found a way to win."

The Lady Griz built a 19-6 lead through the opening 10minutes and went up 30-16 when freshman Kayleigh Valley finished off a strongmove to the basket late in the half.

But Montana would go without a point the final 3:07 ofthe first half, and that allowed Northern Colorado to cut its halftime deficitto 30-23.

Two straight baskets to open the second half cut the leadto 30-27, but Montana responded with a 10-0 run of its own, started by jumperfrom Sullivan and capped by a Sullivan three-point play that made it 40-27.

The lead would reach 15 points and was still 46-32 whenNorthern Colorado started a comeback that ultimately came up short.

"We got up 15, then we just got stuck," Selvig said. "Andthey kept battling, like you knew they would. I thought it would be a battle,and it certainly was."

After shooting 36.0 percent in the first half, the Bearsopted to go with the dribble drive in the second half, and it almost helpedpull out a victory. Northern Colorado went 13 for 13 from the line in thesecond half, 15 for 16 in the game.

"Defensively we did a nice job all night, though they gotto the line too much when we had the lead," Selvig said. "They not only gotfree throws, they made all their free throws."

Despite its struggles from 3-point range, Montana shot43.1 percent and had 19 assists on its 25 baskets.

Selvig finished with eight points and four assists,Sullivan had nine points and nine rebounds, and Rickman hit four of her fiveshots to finish with eight points and six rebounds.

Jamie Derrieux lead Northern Colorado, which shot 47.4percent in the second half to finish at 40.9 percent for the game, with 15points.

Montana's victory, combined with North Dakota's 78-67loss at Montana State Thursday night, sets up a monster matchup at DahlbergArena Saturday afternoon between the Lady Griz and first-place UND, which wonthe teams' first meeting 62-57 last month in Grand Forks.

Montana pulled within one in the loss column of NorthDakota with Thursday's results.

Southern Utah remained in the mix with a 70-66 victory atIdaho State Thursday, and Eastern Washington remained hot with a 79-73 win atSacramento State. In the day's other game, Northern Arizona won 84-61 at homeover Portland State.

 

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