College Basketball Scores and Highlights, Saturday 1/3 - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

College Basketball Scores and Highlights, Saturday 1/3

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GRIZ MOVE TO 2-0 IN CONFERENCE

MISSOULA, MONTANA – The University of Montana Grizzlies had one of their best offensive performances of the season in route to a 74-63 victory over the University of North Dakota in a Big Sky Conference game Saturday night in UM's Dahlberg Arena.

Junior forward Martin Breunig and senior guard Jordan Gregory led the way for Montana, combining for 42 points, as the Griz improved to 2-0 in league play and go to 5-7 overall.

After the second and final tie of the game at 8-8, Bruenig scored on a three-point play with 16:05 remaining in the first half, giving the Grizzlies a three-point (11-8) edge and led the rest of the way. Montana maintained the lead for almost 38 minutes of the contest.

UND's (1-1/5-8) final lead was 6-5 and came at 16:55 mark of the first stanza on a 3-pointer by junior guard Terrel de Rouen. After that UM went ahead 8-6 on a trey by Gregory, which was followed by a pair of free throws by junior guard Estan Tyler which knotted the game up an 8-all. That was followed by Bruenig's three-point play which gave UM the lead for good.

UND, which trailed 35-29 at halftime, stayed within striking distance throughout most of the game, but when Breunig converted another three-point play late in the contest, he gave Montana a 17-point (69-52) lead with 6:05 left to play.

The visitors cut the Grizzlies lead to eight points at 69-61 with 2:11 left to play on a jumper by sophomore guard Quinton Hooker. But, after Hooker's bucket, Gregory and sophomore guards Mario Dunn and Brandon Gfeller made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 50 seconds and secured the win for UM.

Breunig scored a game-high 23 points and was 9-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the stripe. Gregory added 19 points and was 5-of-11 from the field, made 4-of-7 treys, and was 5-of-6 from the line.

Dunn grabbed a game-high 6 rebounds, while Gfeller and freshman forward Fabijan Krslovic each pulled down 5 boards (four of Krslovic's rebounds were on offense). The Griz had a substantial advantage on the glass, out-rebounding UND 33-20, and UND's 20 rebounds was the fewest by an opponent this season.

“He (Krslovic) forces a lot of turnovers, and he deflects a lot of balls he might not be able to get to,” said Griz mentor Travis DeCuire. “One thing that we talked to the team about is our commitment to our roles, to each other, to winning. I think Fab's a great example of that. He's started some games and he hasn't started some games. It hasn't changed his minutes, but it has when he is on and off the court, but it hasn't affected him mentally at all.”

UM senior center Chris Kemp chipped in 9 points, while Dunn and Krslovic added 7 points apiece. Gfeller and sophomore forward Jack Lopez added 4 points each, and sophomore guard Riley Bradshaw also scored.

Montana shot 55.3% (26-of-47) for the game, and made 6-of-14 (42.9%) shots from behind the arc, and were 16-of-22 (72.7%) from the line.

“We definitely feel like that's an advantage for us with Martin down there and Chris' girth and Fab coming around right now,” said DeCuire. “A guy like Jordan Gregory is going to score a lot for us and Gfeller's a good shooter, but if we go inside-out we get good shots and I think that's why we shot 55 percent from the floor.

“What happens is they start to double down on the post,” DeCuire said. “Typically teams double down because your guy is a threat and they can't guard him one-on-one, or he's not a good passer. When we have both it allows us to spin that ball around to the second side and get good shots, is what we got tonight.

“We like where we're at,” DeCuire said. “Hopefully there's just one or two teams that are undefeated, so we're sitting where we want to be in the standings. We want to hold down home court. The team has a lot of confidence regardless of our record from earlier. Right now we just have to continue to grind this thing out.”

UND made 20-of-43 (46.5%) of its field goal tries, converted 6-of-19 (31.6%) treys, and made 17-of-24 (70.8%) free throws. De Rouen led UND with 17 points, while Hooker added 13.

The Grizzlies are on the road next week for a pair Big Sky games, playing pre-season favorite Weber State on Thursday, Jan. 8, and Idaho State on Saturday, Jan. 10. Both games tip off at 7:05 p.m.

UND hosts Sacramento State and Portland State in league contests next week.

LADY GRIZ WIN STREAK SNAPPED, LOSE TO UND

In a game played in January with the feel of March, North Dakota, the preseason Big Sky Conference favorite, held off Montana, picked second in the polls, 59-52 Saturday afternoon at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks.

UND (10-4, 2-0 BSC) built a 34-25 halftime lead and went up 42-27 five minutes into the second half, but a poised Lady Griz team chipped away and took a 48-47 lead on a Shanae Gilham 3-pointer with 5:30 to play.

Gilham made it 50-49 with a spinning finish in the lane with just over four minutes left, but Montana (8-5, 1-1 BSC) would miss its next five shots, all from close range, and a critical front end of a one-and-one with 40 seconds left to see its six-game winning streak come to an end.

Montana matched North Dakota, one of the nation's top rebounding teams, on the glass, turned it over 12 times and held a team averaging 75.7 points to 59 on its home floor, but it was a common bugaboo that cost the Lady Griz the game: 31.0 percent shooting.

“We did everything we needed to do, but we just couldn't score,” said UM coach Robin Selvig, whose team has shot 40 percent just three times in 12 games this season. “Everything was fine, but we go 22 for 71. That's a lot of shots to miss.

“Still, we had a chance to win here shooting 31 percent, and in a way that's a pretty good thing.”

Redshirt senior Kellie Rubel, who was the best player on the floor in the second half and particularly during Montana's rally, finished with 16 points, giving her 998 for her career. McCalle Feller finished with 10, but she had just four over the final 35 minutes.

North Dakota stuck to its usual game plan in the first half and got the ball in the paint, either by entry pass or dribble penetration, on nearly every possession. The result: UND got to the line 16 times, where it outscored Montana by nine, matching the halftime margin.

At the other end, the Lady Griz scored just two points in the paint while mostly settling for mid- and long-range jumpers. Which is fine, but on 28.6 percent shooting the result was just 25 points and the team's second-largest halftime deficit of the season.

North Dakota scored eight of the first 10 points out of the break and went up 42-27 on a Siri Burck 3-pointer at the 14:49 mark. At that point, some teams would have hoisted a white flag and called it quits. Those teams don't have Rubel.

The point guard, who played a game-high 37 minutes, scored six points and added an assist as Montana reeled off 10 straight points in just three minutes to close within five, 42-37.

The Lady Griz completed the comeback when Hannah Doran drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 45-45 with 6:10 left.

Mia Loyd, who had 13 points and 12 rebounds, put North Dakota back on top. Gilham answered with a 3-pointer to put Montana up 48-47, its first lead in nearly 27 minutes of game time.

After Gilham made it 50-49 with 4:04 left, Rubel, Feller, Doran and Kayleigh Valley all had shots at or near the rim to keep it tight. All missed, which allowed North Dakota to retake the lead and build a three-point advantage.

“We really shot poor right around the basket today,” said Selvig. “They are a big, physical team, and there was some pressure on some of those.

“We did a lot of good things, but if you don't get two points for it, it's frustrating.”

After an ill-advised 3-point attempt by Loyd with one minute to go -- she hasn't made a three all season -- Maggie Rickman got to the line with 40 seconds left after collecting an offensive rebound.

With Montana trailing 53-50, Rickman missed the front end, and North Dakota went a perfect 6 for 6 from the line over the final 23 seconds to defeat the Lady Griz at home for the third straight time. Montana went just 4 for 10 from the line for the game.

“We had a chance at the end to go back and forth, but we missed those, and we ended up in the position where we had to foul, and they made their free throws,” said Selvig.

“In a game like this, there are two or three shots that make the difference. They defended us well, but we throw up 31 percent.”

Rubel went 8 for 20 and had five assists and five steals. Feller, after opening with a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes, finished 4 for 14, and North Dakota shut down Montana's other three starters, who went 3 for 21. Rickman and Carly Selvig both had four points. Kayleigh Valley was held scoreless.

Gilham and Doran combined for 13 points off the bench.

But still: Montana held the Big Sky's top shooting team -- North Dakota was hitting 45.4 percent of its shots entering the game -- to 37.3 percent and to just 25 second-half points.

And though UND has been outrebounding its opponent by more than 10 per game this season, Montana matched it 45-45. Only Colorado and Minnesota this season had previously matched or beaten North Dakota on the glass.

“We were even with them on the boards, which is a win with them, and we would have had them in the low 50s at their place if we didn't have to foul late,” said Selvig. “We worked our butts off to do it, but we did not reward ourselves with a win.”

Leah Szabla matched Loyd with a team-high 13 points for North Dakota. Emily Evers had nine points and 12 rebounds.

In other Big Sky games Saturday afternoon, Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona both had convincing wins at home. The Bears knocked off Montana State 80-61, the surprising Lumberjacks crushed Portland State 94-46.

Eastern Washington picked up an impressive road win at Idaho State, 88-73. Idaho won at Weber State 67-60.

Southern Utah hosts Sacramento State Saturday night.

Montana will host Weber State (5-8, 0-2 BSC) Thursday at 7 p.m. and Idaho State (6-7, 1-1 BSC) Saturday at 2 p.m.

BOBCATS LOSE 6TH STRAIGHT, 0-2 IN CONFERENCE

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Cameron Michael scored 16 points and Northern Colorado hit seven of its eight free throws in the game's final 67 seconds, as the Bears topped Montana State 62-54 in Bozeman on Saturday.

The Bobcats (3-11 overall, 0-2 Big Sky) overcame an 15-point second half deficit to close within two points twice in the game's closing minutes, but UNC answered each Bobcat spurt. A Danny Robison trey at 3:30 capped a 10-2 Bobcat run and pulled the home team within 49-47. But Michael's back-to-back three-pointers stretched the UNC lead to eight.

Michael Dison answered with back-to-back three-pointers, and the second with 1:34 to play pulled the Bobcats within 55-53. Northern Colorado answered from the stripe this time, with two free throws each by Tevin Svihovec and Jordan Wilson sealing UNC's road win inside the last 30 seconds.

“I thought we got a few stops when we needed to,” said Bobcat forward Danny Robison, who was plagued by foul trouble in the first half. “I thought we played well defensively for the most part, but hat's off to Northern Colorado. We didn't come out with the same physicality they did.”

Northern Colorado's physical play manifested most notably on the boards, where the Bears out-rebounded MSU 36-to-26. “They out-rebounded us by 10, and using the old one-point-per-board (formula), you can see how important that was.”

The Bobcats stayed close by forcing 15 Northern Colorado, nearly six more than the Bears' season average, while giving it away just 10 times. The Bobcats had trouble converting those possessions into scoring opportunities, though, as UNC scored 18 points off turnovers while the Cats managed just 15.

The story of the game, however, was shooting. Northern Colorado jumped out to an early lead by using the long ball. UNC scored just four times in its first 12 possessions of the game, but all three were from beyond the arc and gave the Bears a 12-10 lead at the 12 minute mark. After Dominique Lee's second three-pointer of the game, matching his season total entering the contest, UNC led 12-10. The Bears would never trail again.

Dison scored 19 points to lead the Bobcats for the second straight game, and was the only MSU scorer in double-digits. Blake Brumwell led the Cats with seven rebounds, Marcus Colbert dished out five assists, and Eric Norman blocked a couple of shots. Michael, Svihovec (12) and Lee (10) each broke into double-digits for UNC. Tim Huskisson grabbed nine rebounds.

MSU WOMEN FALL TO NORTHERN COLORADO

Jan. 3, 2015 – GREELEY, Colorado – Northern Colorado scored the first ten points of the game and never looked back, cruising to an 80-61 win over Montana State, Saturday afternoon at Bank of Colorado Arena.

Northern Colorado (7-6, 1-1) took a 10-0 lead two minutes into the contest and built its advantage to 19-6 at the 14:26 mark. Montana State (6-7, 0-2) whittled the lead down to 30-29 over the next eight minutes, but the Bears answered with a 14-7 run in the waning minutes to take a 44-36 cushion at intermission.

UNC scored the first four points of the second stanza taking a 48-36 lead, before MSU rattled off six unanswered points to close to within 48-42 with 14:47 remaining on a jumper by Peyton Ferris.

Once again, Northern Colorado responded outscoring the Bobcats 21-9 over the next six minutes to secure the win.

Jasmine Hommes and Lindsay Stockton paced the Bobcats with 12 points, apiece, while Alexa Dawkins and Hannah Caudill added ten points each. For the game, MSU shot 43 percent from the field, but connected on just four-of-16 from beyond the arc.

Northern Colorado, which shot 48 percent from the floor, was guided by D'Shara Strange with 18 points and six rebounds. The Bears also made 11-of-20 from long distance.

UNC out-rebounded MSU 43-35 and forced MSU into 14 turnovers, which the Bears converted into 15 points. Dawkins led the Bobcats under the glass with a team-high seven rebounds.

Montana State will host Idaho State on Thursday in Worthington Arena.

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