MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Montana Grizzly basketball team beat Portland State 62-55 Saturday to improve to 4-0 in conference play this season.

Montana started out slow in the first half on both sides of the ball, but they were able to stay in the game thanks in part to senior guard Will Cherry, junior guard-forward Kareem Jamar, and senior forward Mathias Ward. The three returning starters from last seasons league championship team combined for 41 points.

It appeared Montana had the game in hand early in the second half when Ward nailed a three-pointer to give Montana a 17-point lead. The Vikings cut down the Grizzlies' lead to just six points with a minute to go, but Cherry converted two free throws in a one-and-one situation, and sophomore guard Jordan Gregory had two -one-and-one opportunities in the late going, and he made all four of his attempts to thwart PSU's comeback bid.

Montana is on the road next week for two Big Sky games, playing at North Dakota in a 7:05 p.m. tip-off on Thursday, Jan. 10, and then they are at Northern Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 12.