Montana State Men's Basketball Falls to Buffalo on the Road - News, Sports and Weather

Montana State Men's Basketball Falls to Buffalo on the Road

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In the midst of a long road trip, the shortest shots continue to vex the Bobcats.

Montana State missed 23 layups by head coach Brian Fish’s count, but scrapped to the end before falling 80-73 at Buffalo on Saturday. The matinee was the third of MSU’s current four-game, 5,000-mile road trip which ends Tuesday at Syracuse.

“We just have to finish (shots),” said Fish, Montana State’s second-year head coach on the Bobcat Radio Network. “I think we missed nine straight shots in the middle of the second half, and seven of them were layups. I’m not making excuses, but a lot of that is experience and getting more physical. And that’s a good (Buffalo) team that played in the NCAA Tournament last year.”

Montana State stayed with Buffalo of the MAC throughout the game. The Bobcats led by four early in the second half, and when Tyler Hall drained a three-pointer with 12:57 remaining the Cats held a 51-50 edge. But after Hall’s layup was blocked on MSU’s next possession the Bulls converted a fast break and BU had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

That sequence began a 12-0 Buffalo run that builts a 62-51 lead with 8:26 to play. The Bulls led 69-59 with 5:21 remaining when the Cats fought back. Marcus Colbert hit a pair of free throws then converted a layup to draw MSU within six. The Cats trimmed the lead to 76-71 on a Sarp Gobeloglu trey at the 46 second mark but the Cats could get no closer.

“I’m really proud of how hard they fought,” Fish said. “They never give up. We got down by 10 or 11 but they kept playing, like they’ve done all year. But we’re playing a tough schedule, playing NCAA Tournament teams and teams with good experience. We’ve got to keep fighting.”

The Bobcats showed improvement on the defensive end Saturday. MSU held Buffalo to 41% shooting from the field, 21% from the arc. The Bulls did damage from the free throw line, converting 25 of 34 attempts and outscoring the Cats by 12 points there. MSU countered by hitting 10 three-pointers, but shot just 36% from the floor.

Hall led the Bobcats with his second career double-double, scoring 18 points with 11 boards, four assists and three steals. Marcus Colbert added 17, also contributing four assists. Four Bulls finished in double-digits scoring, led by Lamonte Bearden with 18 and Blake Hamilton with 17.

Montana State finishes this leg of its odyssey on Tuesday at Syracuse (7 pm, ESPN3) before road games at Southern Utah (Dec. 31) and Northern Arizona (Jan. 2) to open Big Sky play.

Montana State Sports Information

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