Cats send Griz home defeated after back-to-back victories

Women

The Montana State University Women’s Basketball Team triumphed over the University of Montana Grizzlies with a win of 71-54 Feb. 25 at Worthington Arena. In a slow first period, the Griz held the Cats to only 6 points; a three-pointer by junior Hannah Caudill with 8:26 left, followed by a layup by junior Delaney Junkermier and a free throw by senior Margreet Barhoum with three minutes left, ending the first period down 16-6, the 10-point gap being the Griz’s largest lead of the game.

In the second period, the Cats scored 20 points and closed the gap, going into the half down only 29-26 to the Griz. In the second half the Cats finally pulled ahead with two free throw shots by junior Rebekah Hatchard, giving the Cats a 36-34 lead over the Griz with 6:16 left in the third period. The Cats maintained the lead the rest of the game, holding the Griz to only 5 points in the 3rd period and 15 in the 4th period, compared to the Cats’ 23 points in the 3rd period and 19 in the 4th. The Cats also held a 19-point lead, the biggest point difference of the game, twice in the game, thanks to two separate three-pointers by Junkermier with 8:18 and 3:59 left in the half. This victory continues the Cats’ undefeated home-win streak, and puts them at a record of 20-6, 13-3 in the conference, putting them in second place in the Big Sky Conference. The Cats defeated Idaho State March 1 and will host Weber State March 3 to finish off the regular season. This was also the Cats first sweep of the Lady Griz since 1999.

Men

After a 13-game losing streak to the Griz, the Montana State University Men’s Basketball Team soundly defeated the University of Montana Grizzlies 78-69 on Feb. 25 at Worthington Arena in front of a record sellout crowd of 6,772 fans. In a close, back-and-forth first half, the Cats went into halftime trailing 32-31, closing a 7-point gap, the biggest point difference in the first half. The men came back and stayed ahead in the second half, with sophomore Tyler Hall draining both a three-pointer and a jump shot and sophomore Sam Neumann making a layup and a free-throw shot to give the Cats a 39-32 lead within the first two minutes of the second half. The men maintained their lead the rest of the game, with the Cats holding a 14-point lead over the Griz with 8:42 left, the highest scoring lead of the game. The Cats held the Griz to a 41.8 percent shooting, and only 37 percent after halftime. Montana State also out-rebounded UM 38 – 30, and finished 24-for-35 from the line while the Griz were only 18-for-26. Standout Hall scored 37 points throughout the game, the third most against the Grizzlies in franchise history, and also put him at 675 points on the season, setting the MSU single-season scoring record. This is also coach Brian Fish’s first win against the Griz. This victory puts the Cats tied for fourth with Idaho in the Big Sky Conference, and gives them a winning record of 15-14, 10-6 in the conference. MSU will go on to play Idaho State March 2 in Idaho and Weber State on March 4 to close the regular season.