MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Montana Grizzlies used a big first half to help them beat Eastern Washington 82-77 inside Dahlberg Arena Saturday night.

Montana came out of the gate hungry for another conference win. The Griz jumped out in front of the Eagles early in the first half and for most of the game UM had the lead. The Griz hit 15-of-30 shots from the floor before intermission, including 7-of-14 three-point shots, to grab a 41-32 lead at the break.

The biggest shot of the first half was a successful free-throw attempt by Griz senior Kareem Jamar. The free-throw gave Jamar 1,501 career points, passing his head coach Wayne Tinkle by one point into 6th place on Montana's all-time scoring list.

The Eagles tried to mount a second half comeback but came up short and the Griz held on to get the 82-77 victory in front of their home crowd.

Jamar had a big night for Montana scoring a team high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, Jamar also made 7-of-8 free-throw attempts.

The Grizzlies have now won five of their last six conference games, including their last four in a row.  The win improves Montana to 7-5 in conference play, which puts them in a four-way tie for second in the Big Sky Conference standings.

The Griz will be back in action with a pair of road games starting with Northern Colorado Thursday, Feb. 13.