Griz Men and Lady Griz Sweep Montana State - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Griz Men and Lady Griz Sweep Montana State

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Montana Men's Recap:

The formula was different. The end result wasn’t.

Montana rode a free throw parade, hitting 30 charity tosses in 42 attempts, to a 87-78 win over Montana State on Saturday in Missoula. The win was UM’s second over the Cats this season, but didn’t come easily.

“The guys fought hard,” said Bobcat coach Brian Fish. “We got it down to a one, two possession game but it seemed like every big possession they got themselves to the foul line. And unless they change the rules, you can’t guard them there.”

The Bobcats trailed by 10 points for times in the second half, and by as many as 13 a minute-and-a-half into that period. But the team’s terrific guard tandem of Marcus Colbert and Tyler Hall led the charge back. Consecutive plays by those two, followed by three free throws by Hall, trimmed the Grizzlies lead to one at 54-53 with 12:11 to play.

But that’s as close as the Cats could get. “We just couldn’t get enough stops,” Colbert said. “They shot a lot of free throws, and you can’t guard them there so they knocked them down.”

Colbert scored 18 points with five assists in his final regular season Bobcat-Grizzly game. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Hall, in his first visit to Dahlberg Arena, was magnificent. He scored 30 points – his second game with at least that many during his freshman season – and grabbed four rebounds. He hit seven three-pointers.

Montana freshman Michael Oguine provided the home team a special performance, pouring in 27 points. Fish was impressed with the rookies. “Those are two good players,” he said. “They each played 34 minutes and they brought it the whole time.” Brandon Gfeller scored 24 for Montana.

The UM guards may have gone off as MSU made concessions in slowing down Grizzlies big man Martin Breunig. The Cats held UM’s league MVP candidate to nine points on 2-for-6 shooting.

Montana created separation at the end of the first half, largely from the free throw line. The Grizzlies sank all six of their charity tosses in the last three minutes of the half – and in fact finished the first 20 minutes 10-for-12 from the line. The Cats finished the first half 3-for-7 from the line, but three of those misses were on the front end of one-and-ones, depriving the team up to six points.

Each team enjoyed scoring runs fueled by shooting sprees in the first half. MSU’s came first, with the Cats building a 23-15 lead just inside of the 10-minute mark on Nahjee Matlock’s three-pointer. That bucket followed a brilliant blocked shot by Matlock on the other end of the floor. The Bobcats shooting percentage was 60% at that point.

The Grizzlies answered with a pair of three-pointers and four free throws on their next four possessions. Oguine’s triple at 6:53 made the score 27-25 MSU. After a pair of turnovers – the Cats turned Montana over nine times before intermission, but gave the ball away seven times – the Grizzlies scored on eight of their last nine possessions. That amounted to a 16-5 run to close the half.

Montana Women's Recap:

Haley Vining hit the 3-pointer of her life, a no-doubter with 14 seconds left and her team trailing by one, to propel Montana to a 70-66 victory over Big Sky Conference leader Montana State Saturday afternoon in front of a season-high crowd of 4,249 at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula.

Vining’s shot, and Kayleigh Valley’s two free throws with three seconds left that iced it, allowed the Lady Griz (16-9, 9-5 BSC) to fend off a comeback by the Bobcats (19-6, 12-2 BSC), who trailed by 11 early in the fourth quarter.

The win was the fifth straight for Montana and snapped Montana State’s six-game winning streak.

The game felt eerily similar to the teams’ first meeting last month in Bozeman, when Montana State stormed back from a nine-point, second-half deficit to win 61-52. This time around Montana, which aided the Bobcats’ rally last month by going ice cold in the fourth quarter, had an answer.

“We almost did the fourth quarter thing like we did at their place when we didn’t score,” said Selvig, whose team went nearly five minutes between baskets in the final period on Saturday.

“It wasn’t a big run by them, but they crept back into it because they made some baskets. We had good shots, but we missed all of them. I thought, Are we going to do this again?”

Montana State got back into the game quicker than you can say Caudill-to-Ferris. That combination -- Hannah Caudill feeding Peyton Ferris, and Ferris finishing through contact at the basket -- resulted in eight straight points in a little more than two minutes early in the fourth quarter, and it was game on.

Valley scored 10 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, but it still wasn’t enough to keep Montana State, which scored 26 points over the game’s final nine minutes, from coming all the way back.

Lindsay Stockton hit a pair of free throws with 65 seconds left to cut the lead to 65-62, and Ferris, who scored all 18 of her points in the second half, turned back-to-back turnovers by McCalle Feller into four points.

Her finish in the paint with 52 seconds left made it 65-64, and her two free throws with 25 seconds remaining put the Bobcats up 66-65, their first lead since early in the second quarter.

Montana advanced the ball to the frontcourt following a timeout and looked to its go-to option: a high-low entry pass to Valley. But she was surrounded by Bobcats, which allowed Mekayla Isaak to throw a skip pass to Vining, who didn’t hesitate.

“It was pretty simple what we were trying to do, but they collapsed enough, so Mekayla made a nice cross-court pass, and Haley hit a big one,” said Selvig.

Riley Nordgaard had an open look from the right baseline with eight seconds left that could have tied it, and Jasmine Hommes, who led Montana State with 20 points, missed the putback.

Valley’s free throws were the game’s final points.

“I was extremely proud of the ladies. They battled and battled. The difference is we stepped up and made some shots at the end and didn’t go the whole quarter without scoring,” said Selvig. “We led almost the whole way, and you don’t want to give games like that away at the end.”

Montana State entered the game with just a single league loss -- 81-69 at Eastern Washington -- and looked sharp early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and holding a 10-4 advantage seven minutes in.

That’s when Montana, which had Feller back in the lineup for the first time in four games, came to life. The Lady Griz used a 17-4 run that spanned the first and second quarters to grab the lead. Montana held a 32-22 advantage at the half.

Montana led by at least eight points through the third quarter and went up 51-40 on a jumper by Alycia Sims, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season, on the first possession of the fourth.

Montana State hit nearly one-third of its field goals, seven of 22, in the fourth quarter, but the comeback wasn’t to be.

It was Valley’s 15th game this season with 20 or more points, and Hannah Doran came off the bench to finish with 11, her third straight game in double figures.

Feller, who practiced Friday for the first time since injuring her ankle on Feb. 4 against Sacramento State, wasn’t 100 percent, but she put in 37 minutes, critical for a team that was whistled for 24 fouls, matching the season high the Lady Griz had in their loss at Wyoming. She finished with eight points.

“McCalle played a lot of minutes, and I thought she did a pretty good job,” said Selvig. “She did a darn good job on defense for having to drag that ankle around. With the foul trouble we had, we would have been in trouble without her.”

The loss leaves the Bobcats atop the Big Sky but by just half a game over Idaho and Eastern Washington, which both won at home Saturday.

The Lady Griz are tied for fifth with North Dakota. Both are one game behind fourth-place Weber State, which visits Missoula next Saturday, two days after the Lady Griz host Idaho State.

Montana Sports Information

Montana State Men's Recap:

The formula was different. The end result wasn't.
 
Montana rode a free throw parade, hitting 30 charity tosses in 42 attempts, to a 87-78 win over Montana State on Saturday in Missoula. The win was UM's second over the Cats this season, but didn't come easily.
 
"The guys fought hard," said Bobcat coach Brian Fish. "We got it down to a one, two possession game but it seemed like every big possession they got themselves to the foul line. And unless they change the rules, you can't guard them there."
 
The Bobcats trailed by 10 points for times in the second half, and by as many as 13 a minute-and-a-half into that period. But the team's terrific guard tandem of Marcus Colbert and Tyler Hall led the charge back. Consecutive plays by those two, followed by three free throws by Hall, trimmed the Grizzlies lead to one at 54-53 with 12:11 to play.
 
But that's as close as the Cats could get. "We just couldn't get enough stops," Colbert said. "They shot a lot of free throws, and you can't guard them there so they knocked them down."
 
Colbert scored 18 points with five assists in his final regular season Bobcat-Grizzly game. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Hall, in his first visit to Dahlberg Arena, was magnificent. He scored 30 points – his second game with at least that many during his freshman season – and grabbed four rebounds. He hit seven three-pointers.
 
Montana freshman Michael Oguine provided the home team a special performance, pouring in 27 points. Fish was impressed with the rookies. "Those are two good players," he said. "They each played 34 minutes and they brought it the whole time." Brandon Gfeller scored 24 for Montana.
 
The UM guards may have gone off as MSU made concessions in slowing down Grizzlies big man Martin Breunig. The Cats held UM's league MVP candidate to nine points on 2-for-6 shooting.
 
Montana created separation at the end of the first half, largely from the free throw line. The Grizzlies sank all six of their charity tosses in the last three minutes of the half – and in fact finished the first 20 minutes 10-for-12 from the line. The Cats finished the first half 3-for-7 from the line, but three of those misses were on the front end of one-and-ones, depriving the team up to six points.
 
Each team enjoyed scoring runs fueled by shooting sprees in the first half. MSU's came first, with the Cats building a 23-15 lead just inside of the 10-minute mark on Nahjee Matlock's three-pointer. That bucket followed a brilliant blocked shot by Matlock on the other end of the floor. The Bobcats shooting percentage was 60% at that point.
 
The Grizzlies answered with a pair of three-pointers and four free throws on their next four possessions. Oguine's triple at 6:53 made the score 27-25 MSU. After a pair of turnovers – the Cats turned Montana over nine times before intermission, but gave the ball away seven times – the Grizzlies scored on eight of their last nine possessions. That amounted to a 16-5 run to close the half.

Montana State Sports Information

Montana State Women's Recap:

Montana State battled through adversity of all varieties, but in the end a key three was too much to overcome.
 
Suffering through its second-worst shooting day of the conference season, making just one three-point field goal, Montana State grabbed its only lead of the second half on a pair of Peyton Ferris free throws with 25 seconds to play. But Haley Vining's three-pointer with 14 seconds to play restored Montana's lead, and the Grizzlies held on to hand MSU a 70-66 loss.
 
"We definitely wanted to try to keep it out of (Kayleigh) Valley's hands," said Bobcat coach Tricia Binford. "We knew they'd try to go into her and we wanted to force someone else to hit a shot. (Vining) hit a big shot."
 
The game-winner, capped by a pair of late free throws after an out-of-bounds call originally awarded to MSU was over-ruled by replay controversially, was one of two shots made on the afternoon by Vining. Valley finished with a game-high 23 for Montana.
 
That Montana State entered the closing moments with a chance to win the game seemed unlikely for most of the afternoon. The Grizzlies used a second quarter spurt to grab the lead, built it to double-digits at the end of the first half, then maintained a comfortable double-digit margin until the fourth quarter.
 
Ferris led the charge for the Cats. After Montana opened the fourth quarter with an Alycia Sims jumper to lead 51-40, Ferris hit three jumpers and two free throws to pull MSU within 51-48 at 6:49. The game became a free throw contest for several possessions, and when Sims hit one at 2:31 UM led 61-55.
 
Riley Nordgaard hit MSU's only three-pointer of the afternoon – the Cats finished 1-for-11 from the arc – to slice the lead in half at 61-58. A minute-and-a-half later Ferris hit a jumper to pull the Cats within one, then her free throws gave MSU its short-lived lead.
 
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead, scoring the game's first six points, but made field goals became hard to come by for the visitors after starting 3-for-3. The Bobcats missed their next six and 18 of their final 23 shots in the first half. Turnovers compounded the shooting woes. MSU gave the ball away 10 times in the first two quarters, many of the unforced variety.
 
Binford said MSU's first half dry spell ultimately spelled doom. "We had only eight points in the second quarter," she said. "We need to be able to put points on the board. When we don't make shots we can't play at our tempo, and shots just didn't fall for us."
 
While Montana State's offense cooled as the half went, UM's heated considerable. After missing nine of their first 11 shots, the Lady Griz hit 12 of their final 22.
 
The Bobcats maintained their lead through the game's first 12 minutes, but a jumper by Kayleigh Valley tied the score at 14 and came in the middle of what would be an 11-0 run. MSU's inside tandem of Lexi Dawkins (3-for-5, six points) and Jasmine Hommes (4-for-7, 10 points) were nearly unstoppable in the first half, but the rest of the Bobcats combined for 1-for-14 shooting and all 10 turnovers. Valley and Alycia Sims each scored eight in the first two quarters for UM.
 
As lop-sided as the game was one direction or another, it still came down to the final seconds, which made Binford proud. "A lot of teams wouldn't have had the fight to get back in that game," she said. "I'm proud our kids did."
 
Vining's shot ended the fight. "We stayed aggressive and took away their best shots," Ferris said of the crucial sequence. "Props to Vining. She hit one of her most important shots when it counted."
 
MSU shot just 35.5% on the game, 30.8% in the first half. The Cats held Montana to 42% shooting, and out-rebounded UM 45-to-36. Turnovers were a problem for the Bobcats, as MSU gave the ball away 14 times while taking it away just 10 times.
 
Even with the loss, Montana State wakes up Sunday in first place in the Big Sky. The Cats are 19-6 overall, 12-2 in league play. Montana is 16-9, 9-5. The Bobcats host Weber State and Idaho State next weekend.

Montana State Sports Information

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