Montana State Bobcats Defeat Sacramento State - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana State Bobcats Defeat Sacramento State

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On a night when a freshman made history and a senior took over the second-half, one of the quietest Bobcats may have made the loudest statement.
 
Tyler Hall poured in 25 points and in the process broke the school's freshman scoring record that had stood for nearly 60 years. Marcus Colbert scored 14 in the second half. But Quinton Everett may have made the strongest impact of any Bobcat on MSU's stirring 79-76 win at The Nest in Sacramento Saturday. The junior snagged 15 rebounds and scored 11 points, providing a necessary presence on defense and the boards.
 
"I could name something that every guy did" to help MSU win Saturday, said Bobcat head coach Brian Fish. "One through 11, they all talked, they all brought it."
 
The list begins with Everett, who logged his first career double-double as a Bobcat. "I appreciate what Quinton did," Fish said, "but you can say that about all 11 guys. He was absolutely phenomenal. He went and got some rebounds that very few guys in this league can go get."
 
Colbert took things over in the second half, scoring 13 points during a crucial stretch when the Hornets momentarily slowed Hall down. He dished out three assists, and both that and his scoring figures were considerably below his averages, but in the last four games Colbert has just four turnovers.
 
Hall was marvelous Saturday. He scored 16 points in the first half on his way 25 total. He now has eight of the top 10 scoring games ever logged by a Bobcat freshman, and on Saturday he passed Larry Chanay as the school's all-time frosh scorer. And this season has at least seven games remaining.
 
"Tyler looked about 25 years old for the first 38 minutes," Fish laughed, "and he looked 18 again in the last two. But he just shows such great poise to knock down big shots. He's doing the best job talking that he's done all year. He really played well tonight."
 
Zach Green capped perhaps his best conference weekend with 14 points and five boards, shooting 5-for-10 from the floor. "He's just playing so good right now," Fish said. "When he's just that little bit of cranky, when he lets that edge to him where he'll go up and dunk one or go grab big rebounds, he's a heck of a player."
 
Saturday's game was one of runs. The Cats started both halves hot, and in the second pushed a lead that had been trimmed from 15 to four back to double-digits. Hall hit an and-one out of the gates, Everett hit a triple on a second chance opportunity, and Green converted a dunk to cap a half-opening 8-1 run.
 
The Hornets always had an answer. In the second half it began with an Eric Stuteville dunk. The Hornets made eight of 10 shots eventually drawing within two on a pair of occasions. At that time, though, the Cats scored on six straight possessions to again create separation.
 
A key moment occurred when Sam Neumann snagged a rebound and caught an elbow to the jaw with 3:25 to play and MSU leading 64-58. Sac State was whistled for a flagrant foul, and Neumann made both free throws. Then he converted a layup on the ensuing possession to push MSU's lead to 11.
 
Montana State started strong, scoring on its first three possessions and jumping out to a 12-4 lead. Each team endured early shooting struggles, and each team shot just around 37% in the first stanza. MSU got it rolling with around 12 minutes left. MSU scored on seven of nine possessions, using a 14-5 run to extend its lead to 30-15.
 
At that point, however, Sacramento State turned the tables. The Hornets threw full-court pressure at the Bobcats, and the physical aggression flipped the momentum. In MSU's last 14 possessions of the half the Cats turned the ball over six times and two possessions were terminated by missed free throw opportunities.
 
Fish wasn't surprised with Sac State's comeback, which he foreshadowed at halftime. "I told them, 'Don't be surprised when they come back,'" he said. "'We'd come back if we were down by 15.' That's just part of the ebbs and flows of a game."
 
Even after MSU went up by 11 inside of four minutes, Sac State continued to fight. The Hornets whittled the lead down, but could never pull even. The Cats made five of their last six free throws to seal the win.
 
Montana State is now 10-13 overall, and the five conference wins (against six losses) is more than the team accumulated last year. Sacramento State is 10-11 overall, 3-7 in the league. MSU hosts Northern Arizona on Thursday at 7:05 pm in Worthington Arena.

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