The First Interstate Bank Border War between the Montana State men’s basketball team and cross-border neighbor University of Wyoming returned last week after almost a decade of absence. The Bobcats defeated the Pokes in Billings on Nov. 22 with a score of 83-82. The Pokes got revenge in the second part of the rivalry however, as MSU traveled down to Laramie, Wyoming on Nov. 28. UW won the rematch, beating the Bobcats 82-68.
In part one of this ancient rivalry the Bobcats faced off against the Pokes in the Rimrock Auto Arena at Metra Park on Nov. 22. The Bobcats rushed out ahead early, leading 8-2 early on before the Pokes rallied and with 7:48 left in the first half led 24-14. The Cats closed out the half with a 16-7 run, and trailed by one point at the half. MSU opened the second half with a 14-4 run, taking a nine point lead with the score at 44-35. Wyoming would not go down easily, and with ten minutes left in the game, cut the lead down to two points with the score at 55-53. Neither team led by more than five points for the last 10 minutes of the game. With 1:59 left to go in the game the Pokes led by one, with the score at 79-77. The Bobcats outscored the Pokes in the final minute and a half of the game 6-4 and took the first part of the Border War with a score of 83-82. Wyoming’s senior guard Josh Adams led all scorers with 36 points, while senior guard Marcus Colbert led the Bobcats with 29 points and six assists. Freshman guard Tyler Hall added 25 points and a pair of steals for the Bobcats.
On Nov. 28 the Bobcats travelled to Laramie, WY for the second game of the Border War. Montana State came out strong in the first half, establishing a 11-5 lead in the first seven minutes and finishing the half ahead 40-36. In the second half the Pokes went on a 13-4 run in the first 5 minutes. At one point Wyoming led by as many as 15 points. The Cats cut the lead to eight with 3:38 to go in the game but could not get enough momentum to take go anywhere from there. The Pokes went on to win the second part of the Border War 82-68. Wyoming’s Adams led all scorers with 25 points and Colbert led Montana State with 16 points. Hall and junior forward Sarp Gobeloglu added 14 points apiece for the Cats.
The Bobcats are now 3-3 on the season. They will travel to play Utah Valley at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and will return home on Sunday, Dec. 6 to play Omaha. The game begins at 1:05 p.m. in Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.