The game was tight down the stretch but the Grizzlies were able to hold off rival Montana State and get the win 53-50 at home inside Dahlberg Arena Monday night in front of a season-high 4,606 fans.
Junior guard Keron DeShields led the way for Montana with 13 points and a career-high 8 rebounds. Junior Jordan Gregory also chipped in 13 points for Montana.
Montana State had control for much of the first half and led 20-12 with less than five minutes to go until intermission. But DeShields sparked a 14-3 run in the final four minutes for the Grizzlies, including a deep three at the buzzer, to put Montana on top 26-23 at halftime.
Montana State trailed their in-state rival by as many as 13 points in the second half before climbing back into the game. The Grizzly lead was cut down to 50-48 with 1:59 left in the ballgame, but Mike Weisner followed that with a huge shot when he nailed a three to put Montana back up by five with 1:27 left.
A DeShields turnover with 25 seconds left gave MSU one last opportunity to force overtime, but Michael Dison missed a deep three from the corner as time expired. The Bobcats finished the game 0-for-7 from beyond the arc as a team.
The Bobcats were led by Paul Egwuonwu and Flavien Davis who both finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Montana’s leading scorer Kareem Jamar saw limited action (31 minutes) due to foul trouble and was held to single digits in scoring for just the second time this season in the final home game of his career at Dahlberg Arena.
It’s the eighth straight win for Montana over Montana State. The Grizzlies now improve to 11-7 in Big Sky play (tied for 2nd place) and 16-11 overall on the season. Montana State drops into a four-way tie for 6th place in the Big Sky with a league mark of 9-9.