Big Sky Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 2/4 - News, Sports and Weather

Big Sky Basketball Scores & Highlights, Thursday 2/4

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Griz give up lead in loss

Marcus Graves and Jiday Ugbaja scored 18 points each to lead Sacramento State in a second half rally to edge Montana 83-79 on Thursday night.

Sacramento State (10-10, 3-6 Big Sky) trailed by as much as 20 in the first half but chipped steadily away at the deficit after the break. Graves' jumper late in the second half sparked the rally and put the Hornets on top 79-75 with 13 seconds left. Ugbaja had the go-ahead jumper during the 12-1 run.

Montana (13-8, 8-2) got two more buckets, one from Walter Wright and the other from Martin Breunig, but Sacramento State answered each time with a pair of free throws to seal it.

Eric Stuteville added 15 points for Sacramento State, Justin Strings had 13 and Jeff Wu 11.

Montana was paced by Brandon Gfeller's 21 points on six 3-pointers. Breunig added 20 points, Gavin DeJong 10 and Wright had 11 rebounds.

Portland State Rolls by Cats

 Isaiah Pineiro scored 22 points and Portland State shot 60 percent from the floor and rolled to an 83-68 victory over Montana State on Thursday night.

Collin Spickerman and De'Sean Parsons had 13 points apiece, and Calaen Robinson added 12 points for the Vikings (8-12, 4-5 Big Sky), who finished on 32-of-53 shooting, including 6 of 12 from the arc.

Zach Green scored 17 points and Marcus Colbert had 13 to lead Montana State (9-13, 4-6). 

The Bobcats had a two-point lead midway through the first half. Robinson made a 3-pointer and Pineiro had a dunk, sparking a 20-11 surge to give Portland State a 38-31 halftime lead.

Spickerman scored a layup and a dunk, Zach Gengler made a 3-pointer, and the Vikings stretched their lead to 72-58 midway through the second half and had a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Lady Griz Hold Off Hornets

The game had 156 shots, 62 of them from 3-point range, which led to 94 rebounds, many of them coming outside the paint, with the Hornets making hockey-style line changes every minute or less to keep their energy high. The high-possession style wears out players and coaches alike.

“That’s a typical game with them,” said a weary Robin Selvig after the game. “I feel like I just ran a marathon. I was trying to be calm, but there are just so many possessions and hacks and digs.”

The win put an end to Montana’s four-game losing streak, which matched the most ever under Selvig, who is in his 38th year. Two of those losses came in the final second. Another, on Saturday at Montana State, came after giving up a nine-point second-half lead.

“It’s just a good feeling to get back into the win column,” said Selvig. “The games we lost were good ones and ones we could have won, so there was no reason to be down and out about it. It just feels a lot better to get the W.”

Montana mostly played at Sacramento State’s preferred pace -- organized, intense chaos might best describe it, with the goal of putting the other team under 94 feet of offensive and defensive pressure -- in the first half and had a 46-42 halftime lead to show for it after shooting 51.4 percent.

The Lady Griz (12-9, 5-5 BSC) outscored the Hornets (7-13, 4-5 BSC) 25-15 in the third quarter, which would have put most teams away, but not Sacramento State, not when a team can put up 26 points in a quarter as easily as the Hornets can, and did in the fourth quarter to keep it close into the final minute.

But on this night, Montana made the key plays -- Sierra Anderson’s and-one, anyone? Or Montana’s perfect fourth-quarter free throw shooting? -- and its lead never got below seven.

“We played strong until the end tonight. We had a lead late in some of the games that we lost and weren’t able to close them out. We closed this one out,” said Selvig, whose team led for nearly 36 of the 40 minutes.

Not that it was ever easy, especially when McCalle Feller, who scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and is the type of athletic closer who can finish possessions against a gambling defense, was lost for the game, and perhaps longer, early in the fourth quarter.

Her loss created problems both short and long term. On Thursday, Montana had to hold off Sacramento State without its second leading scorer. How long Feller, who landed on the foot of a Hornet and rolled her ankle, will be out won’t be known until at least Friday.

“She’s someone who can go make plays in a game like this, which she was really doing the second half,” said Selvig. “Hopefully she can go Saturday, but we can’t take any chances. Sometimes they feel terrible and they aren’t that bad, and sometimes it takes a little time to get back healthy.”

Adella Randle-El had 30 points for Sacramento State, the most scored by an opponent on Montana this season, as the Hornets took 47 of their 81 shots from beyond the arc. They only made 13, with a 6-for-25 performance in the second half.

Montana had 21 turnovers, which looks like a high number, but it’s four fewer than Sacramento State creates in a typical game, and the Lady Griz forced 15 themselves, better than the 16-turnover difference between the teams in the Hornets’ 83-75 home-court overtime victory in January.

“Twenty-one turnovers seem like a lot, but it’s not that many against these guys,” said Selvig, whose team had a 57-37 rebounding advantage.

“Alycia was a stud on the boards and made free throws down the stretch, and Haley had a great game. Nine assists and two turnovers against that pressure? We’ll take that. Everybody did a good job.”

Montana will try to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since early January when the Lady Griz host Portland State (3-17, 1-8 BSC) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Vikings lost 74-64 at Montana State Thursday night, a game the Bobcats led by 20 entering the fourth quarter.

Montana State (16-5, 9-1 BSC) remains atop the Big Sky standings with Eastern Washington (15-7, 9-1 BSC), which won 72-65 at home Thursday night over Northern Arizona.

In other league games, Idaho, which trailed by one after the first quarter, blitzed Southern Utah 93-48. North Dakota won 60-57 at Idaho State, and Weber State, which had 14 points at the half, won in triple overtime at home over Northern Colorado 82-79.

Montana Sports Information

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