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Montana State and Montana Basketball Meet for Rivalry Matchup, Highlights and Results

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The Montana State defense clamped down in the fourth quarter and the Bobcat offense fed off the energy of 3,526 fans in attendance as MSU rallied from a nine-point second half deficit to record a 61-52 victory over Montana in the 100th meeting between the two rivals, Saturday afternoon in Worthington Arena.
Montana (11-9, 4-5) held a 30-25 advantage at intermission and pushed its lead to nine-points at the 9:04 mark of the third quarter. Montana State (15-5, 8-1) answered with an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to even the score at 36-all. UM got the lead back to four points, but a pair of Lindsay Stockton free throws with five-seconds left in the quarter pulled MSU to within one-point.
In the final stanza, the Bobcat defense stifled Montana as the Lady Griz went 0-of-nine from the field. And, as the Lady Griz offense went cold, MSU started to heat things up connecting on 54 percent (7-13) from the floor in the final stanza.
Bobcat senior Jasmine Hommes gave Montana State its first lead since the opening quarter connecting on a layup with 8:39 left. The lead changed hands four times over the next three minutes with the last exchange coming via an old-fashion three-point play with 4:03 remaining by Riley Nordgaard.
Following a free throw by McCalle Feller at the 3:54 mark, MSU scored seven unanswered points capped by a Nordgaard layup on an assist from Stockton. Stockton went three-of-four at the line down the stretch to secure the win for Montana State.
The first half was a struggle for MSU as the Bobcats committed 12 turnovers and had a hard time containing Feller and Kayleigh Valley. On the offensive end, MSU struggled as well in its attempt to get the ball inside.
"Every team has a bit little of identity about them and the character of this team is they find ways even when it's not particularly pretty," said MSU 11th year head coach Tricia Binford. "We really struggled in the first half and give the Griz credit. They were extremely physical, they threw off a lot of our passes, we didn't get position where we wanted to be catching, mainly because of their physicality.
"We were really impatient on our offensive end and I thought we played pretty fast in that first half," Binford continued. "But once that second half started, we played a great third quarter. I think it was a one-point lead for them at the end of the third. I felt really good about us at that point even though we weren't in control or in charge.
"We talked about just getting over the hump and at that point anything could happen," Binford said. "But, the last three minutes of the game this team is just really steady, they have great composure and I think that comes with the experience, but I think we have just great leadership on this team."
Peyton Ferris paced Montana State with a team-high 16 points, while Nordgaard 11, Stockton 11, andAlexa Dawkins 10 all hit double-figures. Nordgaard, a product of Canby, Minn., also finished with a team-high nine rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Montana was led by Valley 17 and Feller 14. Feller, who had 12 points at intermission, went 0-of-five in the second half, while Valley also went without a field goal, but did convert eight-of-eight from the charity stripe.
"Kudos to Montana," Nordgaard said. "Feller and Valley are very talented players, and some of the best we'll see all year. I thought they played really hard and the first three quarters they were up on us, and it took us a little bit to adjust to their physicality. But, ultimately, I was proud of the way we responded and really adjusted to their personnel and how we matched up."
With the win, Montana State stays atop the Big Sky standings with Eastern Washington at 8-1. MSU has won nine of its last ten games, while Montana dropped its fourth straight game.
MSU will host Portland State next Thursday in Worthington Arena.

Montana State Sports Information

For the second straight game a cold-shooting fourth quarter erased a win-worthy effort by the Montana women’s basketball team.

The Lady Griz led for more than 28 minutes and built a nine-point lead early in the third quarter, but Montana went 2 for 19 over the game’s final 17 minutes, 0 for 9 in the fourth quarter, to fall 61-52 to Montana State in Bozeman Saturday afternoon.

It was the fourth straight loss for Montana (11-9, 4-5 BSC), which lost in similar fashion last Saturday at Eastern Washington, when a 51-37 third-quarter lead turned into a 67-65 loss.

After building a 30-25 halftime advantage and taking a 43-42 lead into the fourth quarter, the Lady Griz got outscored 19-9 in the final period and finished the game shooting 26.5 percent.

“It was one of those games where if you shoot even 32 percent, you probably win. It just didn’t go our way, and it hasn’t been going our way for a few games now,” said UM coach Robin Selvig, whose team has lost four straight league games for just the second time in his 37-plus year career.

“We haven’t been getting any wins lately, but we’ve been playing well enough to win.”

The loss spoiled a gritty effort by a team that doesn’t have the weapons to match Montana State offensively, so Montana stayed in the game by getting it done on the other end of the floor.

The Lady Griz forced 12 first-half turnovers and held MSU’s leading scorer, Jasmine Hommes, without a point through the first two quarters to take a five-point lead to the locker room.

McCalle Feller scored 12 first-half points, Kayleigh Valley added nine, but neither would make a second-half field goal, and there wasn’t enough scoring support from their teammates to hold off Montana State for all 40 minutes.

Montana hit its first three shots of the third quarter, two from Mekayla Isaak, one from Haley Vining, but the Lady Griz would make just two more baskets the rest of the game.

Still, Montana led 43-42 after three quarters.

Montana State (15-5, 8-1 BSC), which remains in a first-place tie atop the Big Sky standings with Eastern Washington, a 100-83 winner at Sacramento State Saturday afternoon, took its first lead of the second half when Hommes scored inside to make it 44-43 early in the fourth quarter.

Her team wasn’t making baskets, but Valley was able to consistently get to the free throw line in the final period, and she put her team up 49-46 with 4:59 left. Montana’s final lead of the game wouldn’t last long.

Alexa Dawkins brought her team within one, and Riley Nordgaard put Montana State up for good when she converted a three-point play with just over four minutes remaining. The Bobcats, who shot 7 for 13 in the fourth quarter, closed the game on a 15-3 run.

“We had some open looks in the fourth quarter, but we didn’t make any of them, and the Cats finally found enough offense,” said Selvig. “Our defense was pretty good the whole game, but it’s tough to shut them down forever.

“Our offense came up short for us. They made some baskets in the fourth quarter, and we didn’t make any, and that’s going to be a problem. You can’t shoot 26 percent and win. I don’t care how well you play. You have to make more shots than that.”

Valley would finish with 17 points, 13 coming at the free throw line to mask a 2-for-9 shooting game. Feller was held to a pair of free throws in the second half and finished with 14. It was the pair’s lowest combined scoring output through nine Big Sky games.

Vining added seven points, Isaak six, and Alycia Sims ripped down a game-high 12 rebounds, her third straight game with 10 or more. Montana’s bench added just six points on 1-of-9 shooting.

The Bobcats, who were led by Peyton Ferris’s 16 points and had four players in double figures, average more than 73 points per game and needed 19 in the fourth quarter just to reach 61 on Saturday. Montana State held the lead for less than nine minutes.

“I’m proud of the effort,” said Selvig. “We played well but shot horribly. To lead for most of the game is a credit to us doing some other things well.

“We played tough. We played strong. It was an either-or game in the fourth quarter, and they made a couple more plays.”

Montana will host Sacramento State (7-12, 4-4 BSC) and Portland State (3-16, 1-7 BSC) next week.

Montana Sports Information

Men's Basketball Recaps:

Montana rode enormous advantages in free throws and rebounds to an 80-72 win over Montana State in Bozeman on Saturday.

The visiting Grizzlies out-rebounded the Bobcats 41-to-28 and shot 15 more free throws than homestanding MSU, closing the game on a 17-8 run over the last five-and-a-half minutes. Walter Wright scored 24 for Montana, grabbing 10 rebounds, while Michael Oguine added 21. Marcus Colbert led the Bobcats with 21 points, while Tyler Hall added 17.

Colbert said Montana’s advantage on the glass was too much to overcome. “I feel like you’ve got to credit them but at the same time there were a lot of things that they did that came down to us rebounding,” he said. “They crashed the boards harder than we did and the numbers showed it. They were the more physical team.”

That began on the game’s first possession, when Montana turned a missed jumper by Wright into a second-chance score. Montana turned 15 offensive rebounds into a 16-3 advantage in second-chance points over the Bobcats.

“You can talk about a lot of different things,” said Montana State coach Brian Fish, “but everything points to toughness. They were the tougher team tonight.”

The Bobcats led for more than 26 minutes of Saturday’s game, but Fish told his team at halftime that in spite of leading 37-34 it would need to alter its methodology. “I told them the lead was fraudulent,” he said. “Nothing in the stats supported that we were playing better. We wanted to just shoot our way through that.”

Montana State fell to 9-12 overall and 4-5 in the Big Sky with the loss. Montana is now 13-7 overall, 8-1 in the league. The game drew 5,407 fans, Montana State’s largest home crowd since 6,018 witnessed the 2012 contest between the Cats and Griz.

Montana Sports Information

Walter Wright and Michael Oguine have never played against Montana State, never getting a taste of the intensity that comes with the Brawl of the Wild rivalry.
But looking at the way they played on Saturday, you wouldn't know it.
The true freshman and the junior transfer looked like seasoned Montana veterans in their first Griz/Cat game, putting down 45 points between them, and leading the Griz to a gritty 80-72 come-from-behind victory over the Bobcats in Bozeman.
The victory is Montana's 11th straight over Montana State, (9-12, 4-5 BSC) putting the Griz at 13-7 overall this year. At 8-1, UM remains on top of the Big Sky table half way through the league season. It's also the Grizzlies' 5th straight road win, keeping them undefeated in conference action outside of Missoula. 
In a back-and-forth contest, Montana rallied from an eight-point second half deficit with 12:30 to play, and sealed the win when Oguine drained a three-pointer from the corner with 49 seconds on the clock.
The Griz finished with three players shooting in double figures leading to the 80-point final score, the team's fourth highest output of the season. Wright led all scorers with 24, followed by Oguine on 21 and 14 for Martin Breunig. Wright, a point guard, also added 10 rebounds to post the only double-double of the game.
As smooth as Oguine, Wright and the Grizzly offense looked, per usual, defense was the difference. After a couldn't-miss start to the game for MSU, where the Cats shot 75 percent from the field in the first 10 minutes, the Griz fought back in the battle of the boards, outrebounding MSU 41-28.
Montana (one of the league's best three-point defending teams) also held MSU (one of the league's best three-point shooting teams), to just 30 percent from behind the arc and 42 percent from the field. Conversely, the Griz shot nearly 50 percent from the field, and 46 percent from long range.
"We put that on the board every day, said Montana head coach Travis DeCuire. "Defense wins."
"You've got to give them some credit though. In the first half they made every open shot they got, but we figured some things out in the second half defensively."
To start the game, Montana State was riding the energy of a full house and a rivalry game, jumping out to a 23-20 lead after 12 minutes of play, seeming to make every shot they took.
The Grizzlies on the other hand, relied on their inside game with Martin Breunig and Walter Wrightputting in six early points each from short range to keep pace.
Customarily, the Griz defense and rebounding kept the game within reach, as UM collected 11 offensive rebounds in the first half to the Bobcats' four, all of which came in the last 30 seconds of the half. Going into the break, MSU held on to a 37-34 lead, and it was anyone's ballgame at that point.
After trading blows early in the second half, the Cats caught fire again, going on a 10-2 run that built up an eight-point advantage for the home team with 12:30 to play.
The Griz then stormed back, led by Wright and Oguine who were able to penetrate the lane and put up several head-scratching circus shots.
Montana weathered foul trouble as well, with five players picking up four personal fouls, but no one crossed the line and fouled out with five.
MSU would threaten UM's lead though, trailing by three with a minute to play. But Oguine would make sure it was not to be, hitting the trey from the corner to ice the game for the Griz.
While Wright, Oguine and Breunig grabbed the headlines, the Griz received important minutes from the bench in the likes of Bobby Moorehead, who drained his second three of the night to put UM up for good at 66-64 with 4:36 to play, and Jack Lopez, who assisted Oguine on the game clinching three.
Montana starts the month of February, looking to keep its unblemished road record in tact at Sacramento State on Thursday, Feb. 4, and Portland State on Saturday, Feb. 6. The Griz defeated Sac. State 77-58 in Missoula earlier this season, and defeated Portland State 79-66 as well.
Montana State makes the return trip to Missoula for the second leg of the Brawl of the Wild series on Feb. 20. Tipoff is set for 7pm at Dahlberg Arena.

Montana Sports Information

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