The Bobcats continued conference play this week, taking on the Eagles of Eastern Washington on Thursday and the Portland State Vikings Saturday night. The men did not get off to a good start against the Eagles. In a game that was never close, Eastern Washington soared to a 16-point halftime lead, eventually winning by a score of 79-59. The Cats trailed for nearly the entire game and could not match the Eagles’ offensive barrage.
The Cats (11-12, 6-6) shot just 38 percent from the field, including a woeful 4 of 17 from beyond the arc. The Eagles (10-13, 5-7), on the other hand, made 52 percent of their shots from both the field and behind the 3-point line. Montana State was outplayed in nearly every statistical category, and the difference was apparent on the court.
Tyler Harvey led the way for Eastern, scoring 19 points, and Venky Jois contributed 15 points. The Cats were led by senior forwards Calen Coleman and Flavien Davis, each scoring nine points.
The Cats looked to turn it around Saturday night when the Vikings came into town. In a game that was back and forth all night, the Bobcats pulled away in the final minutes to halt a two game slide and reestablish themselves at .500 in the conference.
Senior forward Paul Egwuonwu notched a double-double for Montana State with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman guard Stephan Holm came off the bench to score 15 points, including a handful of key 3-pointers to help the Cats to victory. Antonio Biglow iced the game with a steal in the closing seconds to secure the win. For Portland State (11-10, 6-6), guard Gary Winston scored 14 and forward Kyle Richardson added 11 points and 11 rebounds in an ultimately unsuccessful effort.
Montana State managed to shoot 47 percent while holding Portland State to just 38 percent. The Bobcat defense was able to generate six steals and edged out the Vikings on the glass as well. The men will look to build on the win in all aspects when they travel to North Dakota (UND), Thursday, Feb. 13, and try to avenge their mid-January loss.